“Hi, I’m Corinne and I’m a fourth year German Student. For my year abroad I went with the British Council Assistantship scheme to Vienna, Austria. I’d managed to find somewhere to live the day before I left but I was still really nervous and pretty terrified as I got onto the plane – that was definitely the worst bit of the whole trip for me!
My year in Vienna was incredible – it was really easy to make friends with other assistants from all over the world, which made everything much more exciting, and living in a city meant there was always something to do or somewhere to explore. I taught at the Pädagogische Hochschule, a teacher training college for future Austrian primary school teachers, and I found it so much fun, but also really surreal as I was teaching a class of over 25 year olds the Hokey Cokey! Teachers were generally really patient on the language side as long as they knew that you were trying, so there was no real stress about not being good enough (at least not until I got back to Uni!). By contract you only teach 13 hours a week so there’s plenty of free time to travel or, in my case, enjoy the city atmosphere and everything it had to offer!
One of the things I was most worried about when I went out on my year abroad was that something would happen while I was away, and that dealing with it in a foreign country would be difficult. Well, I broke my leg at a ski festival in April, and had to stay off work for around a month until my cast came off. The system with dealing with things like that turned out to be brilliant for me and I didn’t even lose any pay, so there was nothing at all to worry about. All in all, my year abroad was the most fun I’ve ever had. It was great for confidence building, and it really encouraged me to keep travelling in the future. So much so, I’ve just applied to go back next year!”
SOCLAS students can read further accounts of year abroad experiences here.