During the course of my degree I was lucky enough to spend a whole year working as a language assistant, for the British Council, in a middle school in Rouen, France. The following year, I attended university in Limoges, France. My Year abroad as a language assistant was so great that I decided I couldn’t give up the opportunity to take part in the experience once again. So after graduating, I decided that I wanted to go back for another year as an assistant, this time in Alençon. The second time was even better than the first. This time I knew exactly what I was expected to do, and my knowledge of French and France had evolved as well as my confidence to use the language, which meant that I met many local people, was submerged in French culture everyday, toured northern France, tutored French children, and even made life long friends.
After my second year abroad, I thought I ought to start thinking about my career choices. I had always wanted to go into teaching and my two years as a language assistant, working in secondary schools had helped to reinforce this. So I have just completed my PGDE in Secondary education – Modern Languages and I will start my first year as a probationary teacher in August this year. Before embarking upon this new chapter of my life, I am currently spending 4 months in Spain, both as part of my PGDE course to ensure that I qualify to teach in both languages, but also because the confidence I gained during my years at Stirling has allowed me the self-reliance that I need to embark upon such an adventure. I started the first part of my trip in northern Spain, Oviedo. I was once again a language assistant by day and tutoring for extra cash some evenings. I met so many wonderful people, experienced so many cultural delights and totally fell in love with Spanish life. I even have the opportunity to return to Oviedo with a secure job for next summer if I so desire! I currently find myself in Tarragona, Spain, where I am on the last leg of my Spanish adventure, and enjoying cultural exposure and long days on the beach. So far, so good!
During my years at Stirling I met a lot of like-minded people. We were a very close group who came to rely on one another a great deal. No one knows better what you are feeling, than those around you. Furthermore, the department were nothing short of spectacular. The modern language department is a strong team of people who always put their students first. I always felt that tutors had time for us and nothing was too great a stretch for them. My time at the University of Stirling was unforgettable and has set me in good stead for future adventures, and what’s more, it has given me wonderful memories of adventures past.