Written by Guest blogger
This is a guest blog post by final year student Niamh Woodmass, studying her BA (Hons) History.
My name is Niamh Woodmass and I am a Final Year History student at Bournemouth University. I decided to do my 30 week work placement abroad as an English Language Assistant in Barcelona, Spain. Working abroad offers so many great opportunities, both personally and professionally, so this was something I was really keen to do.
I applied through Bournemouth’s online career hub, which was very easy to navigate. I was directed to the website of the company I was applying to work for and simply had to send my CV and a cover letter expressing why I wanted to partake in their internship programme. The programme recruits native English speakers to work in a school in the Catalan region in Spain and includes the opportunity to live with a host family who would provide full board. After a Skype interview I was very promptly offered the job at the beginning of January, which gave me nine months to prepare before I finally started in September. As well as providing full board, participants are also granted 300 euros a month.
My timetable at the school was different each day, and I was expected to do 25 hours a week (as well as tutor the children in my host family each night). At the beginning, I spent most of my time as a classroom assistant, helping with pronunciation or taking small groups away at a time. However, as I gained more experience I was able to prepare and conduct my own classes. I also helped organise a number of events within the school and assisted on a many school trips, the most exciting being the one around Christmas time where I got to experience the Catalan tradition of finding the “Tió de Nadal”.
My highlights from my placement abroad have been the places I’ve visited with both my host family and friends. My host family have a second home in the mountains of Caixans, and they invited me to visit with them a number of times. This was an incredible opportunity to see a vastly different area of Spain to the one I was living in, but it also allowed me to meet so many new people who had a lot of questions to ask about the
UK and a lot of stories to tell about themselves. I was also very fortunate to make some fantastic friends who were also participating in the programme, and we spent many weekends travelling to different parts of Spain including Mataró, Girona, Figueres and Valencia. These weekends have created some of the best memories and made my experience feel really unique.
I would definitely recommend working abroad to anybody considering it. I’ve gained so much confidence in myself and I have been able to meet and network with so many people that I would’ve otherwise not had the chance to, which will increase my employability in my future career. I feel like I’ve gained a really informative outlook on another culture and can see myself working in an environment which encompasses others from many different backgrounds.
Find out more about studying BA (Hons) History.