Introduction

It’s that time of year when an avalanche of year abroad journals enter the blogosphere, only to be left to fester as their creators are quite understandably distracted by the perks of life abroad. Here’s my nattily-titled addition, which will be used to document my misadventures when I leave the home comforts of the UK (read: the BBC and proper tea) for sunnier foreign climes.

I should probably explain a bit about who I am, where I’m heading and what I’m actually going to be getting up to on the Continent. My name is Helen, I’ve just come to the end of my second year studying French and German at Lancaster University and I’ll be departing for the fabled year abroad at the end of summer 2014. I’ve been learning French since starting high school, alongside Welsh, but I started German from scratch at the beginning of university. I actually came to Lancaster to study English Language but the flexibility of first year allowed me to pick up two other subjects. One-too-many tedious pieces of English coursework later and I decided to change degree completely! A decision I’ve never regretted.

I’ll be spending the first part of the year studying all things translation and interpretation related at the University of Geneva in Switzerland, with the primary purpose of improving my French and the secondary purpose of eating my body weight in Swiss chocolate. I’ll be living with a lovely Swiss family and their pet cat in a house just a short walk from the lake. Pictures to come soon!

Part two of the year abroad is to be spent working under the British Council as a language assistant in Austria. I recently found out that I was allocated to my ideal region, Tyrol, and I was even more excited to hear that I’d be teaching in the beautiful towns of Kitzbühel and Wörgl. As a huge The Sound of Music fan (my main reason for choosing Austria… don’t tell my German professors!), it’s going to be challenging to not burst into a chorus of “The hills are alive…!” upon setting foot on an Austrian mountain.

Hopefully this blog will be useful for anyone looking to study abroad in the future, particularly as a modern language student. If you have any questions or just fancy being nosey, then fire away!

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