Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Reflecting on one adventure whilst preparing for the next.....5 days to go!

First of all Happy New Year to you all! Before I move on to talk about my next foreign adventure, I would like to thank you all for following my blog whilst I have been in France! It is lovely to know that it is being read and that it is helping some of you prepare for starting your year abroad in September! Having lived abroad for five months and gone through the nervous anticipation before the very first placement, I know that it is always both very useful and comforting to hear about other peoples year abroad experiences. For this reason, I am going to continue blogging as regularly as I did in France whilst I am in Spain so that you can continue to follow the progress that I and many other Erasmus students are making on our placements.  

As it is New Years Eve I thought that reflecting on what I have achieved on my year abroad up to this point and how this is going to help me through my six month work placement in Spain and then my return to the Cote D'Azur in France next summer would be a good thing to talk about. In fact, without the experiences I have had in France and the skills I have developed so far, I would probably not be going back to France next summer to do a teaching internship in Cannes so I am very thankful for all that I have gained and learnt over the past five months and for the people who have helped me through the hard times. I would therefore like to take this opportunity to thank my family, friends, and university lecturers for their constant support and encouragement as it really does make each experience more manageable and enjoyable as a message or phone call can go a long way in completely changing the way we think about a bad day at work or something unpleasant that we have encountered. So thank you so much for this! 

As many of you will remember, my third year abroad started off in France in the gorgeous city of Cannes on the sunny Cote D'Azur where it was indeed very sunny and hot and a real Mediterranean city. I spent one month in Cannes at a language school where I did a four week French Language Course in preparation for working as a receptionist in Grenoble for the first semester of my year abroad. This was a month that I will not forget and possibly one of the most wonderful experiences I have ever had as I lived with a French family and therefore got a true insight into the French culture and spoke French the vast majority of the time. I also made many wonderful friends on my course (both teachers and students) of all ages who really made the month special and gave me the best start to the year abroad that I could ever have hoped for. 

After my month in Cannes, I moved to Grenoble in the Rhone Alpes region of France where I worked as a full time receptionist for four months. This was a very challenging yet rewarding experience that taught me many new things such as how to deal with some very difficult situations alone, how to take business phone calls in French,deal with customers at the desk in French, and how to work busy shifts as a waitress in the restaurant and make very quick decisions. However, the most incredible thing that I got from it was being able to work eight and a half hour shifts completely alone during which I would often face situations that I would never have dreamed of facing before such as evacuating the whole building in an unplanned fire alarm! It was certainly a placement full of adventures but one that has enabled me to grow in confidence and experience working a full time job for the first time. 

I am now preparing to go to Spain on Monday where I will be working as an English Language Assistant in a language school in Sevilla. I am feeling the usual nervous excitement that most people feel five days before making a new start in a completely new place. However, now that I have lived in France for five months, I feel that many of the skills that I learnt there both in and out of the workplace can be transferred to my time in Sevilla. Although I have only been learning Spanish for two years, I am very excited about experiencing a culture and language that are currently very unfamiliar to me! 

So all in all, the year abroad has started off on a very positive note and I hope that it continues to be just as, or if not more positive!

Bring on 2015 and I will see you in Sevilla! 


1. Cannes (France)
2. Nice (France)
3. Mougins (France)
4. Monaco
5. Le Cannet (France)
6. Le Balcon D'Azur (France)
7. Grenoble (France)
8. Echirolles (France)
9. Pont de Claix (France)
10. Vizille (France)
11. Lyon (France)
12. Annecy (France)
13. Mons (Belgium)
14. Brussels (Belgium)
15. Geneva (Switzerland) 
16. Valence (France)
17. Chambery (France)
18. Voiron (France)
19. St Etienne (France)
20. The French Alpes (France)
21. Lac Bleu (France)
22. Vienne (France)
23. St Pierre de Chartreuse (France)
24. Charavines (France)
25. St Hugues de Chartreuse(France)
26. Les Echelles (France)
27. Saint Laurent du Pont (France)
28. Aix les Bains (France)
29. Grasse (France)
30. Paris (France) 
31. Disneyland Paris (France)

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