Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies

A day in the life of a year abroad student

Some of our current third year students have spent their year abroad undertaking study exchanges, language assistantships and work placements.

Find out what a typical day is like for some of them on their year abroad.

Meet our year abroad students

Liam Farrow

BA Modern Languages and European Studies (French & Spanish)

Study exchange: Sciences Po (Paris, France)

Jennie McLaughlin

BA Modern Languages and European Studies (French & Spanish)

Language assistantship: English Language Assistant (France)

Ruth Eagle

BA Modern Languages and European Studies (German & ab initio Russian)

Work placement: Ernst & Young (Stuttgart, Germany)



My work during my year abroad as an intern in the translation department for Ernst & Young has taught me that no two days are the same!

Some days I spend translating and proof reading documents for world famous companies, while other days I'm required to organise things vital to the working of the company, such as the office Secret Santa.


Being a Language Assistant in France means that if I wish, I can start each day with a fresh croissant or pain au chocolat, which I often do!

However, a treat such as this can sometimes be necessary, especially when I spend the rest of the day looking after lively kids between the ages of four and ten!


My average weekday starts with a short commute to the university campus and a couple of lessons; these are broken up by a coffee or lunch with friends.

More often than not, the University will have organised talks or debates with world-renowned academics or politicians which are free for students to attend, so I can sometimes be found there!


When I start teaching at 10.30 a.m. there is plenty of singing, storytelling, miming and acting, puppet work, playing games and even dancing. Anything that will help pupils learn English in a fun way we will do!


By late morning I am often tasked with making the coffees for our caffeine-addicted workforce, which is of course also very important!




Being a BA Modern Languages and European Studies student means that I also need to keep up with my second language, but with the extremely international student body and the many cultural activities on offer in Paris, this isn’t hard to do.


It is my responsibility to organise the office’s projects by using the internal job management software. This means that I have to stay on top of clients’ requests and details of each job in order to keep the office running in a productive and efficient manner.


Studying with some of the best students in France obviously requires hard work from time to time, so I have to plan my time carefully! The possibility to choose subjects from almost any social science, and the fact that the lectures are given by leading academics and practitioners in their respective fields, means that the hard work is definitely worth it.




My evenings are usually spent relaxing after a long day of fun filled activities and amusing activities with the children!


Evenings are a mix of work, going out with friends, or taking advantage of the vast range of activities that Paris has to offer.

There are also opportunities to take part in any number of sports classes that are organised by the University.


One fantastic aspect of a work placement as part of a year abroad is the free time that you get with it. Without essays or assessments to worry about, your evening really is your own to do what you want with.

Living in the centre of a vibrant city like Stuttgart means that I am never bored and have so many wonderful friends.


Summary of the year abroad


My year abroad has undoubtedly been the best part of my course so far, not only thanks to the brilliant city, but also the knowledge that this year has been as academically rewarding as it has personally.


I would thoroughly recommend a work placement as part of a year abroad to prospective students considering this option! I have enjoyed every day of my placement at Ernst & Young in Stuttgart.


With each day that passes on my year abroad, relationships that are built with the children to the point that throughout the day I will have several kids clinging to my arms with the custom of giving a ‘bisou’ happening quite frequently!


Find out more about the year abroad

You can find out more about the opportunities available for taking a trip overseas on our year abroad page.