Moving Abroad on Placement
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A placement year or internship is an opportunity for you to put your studies into practice by applying what you have learnt at university in an organisation. With the increasing competition and scarcity of placements in the UK students are starting to look further afield and international placements are becoming increasingly popular. Whilst it may be extremely daunting moving overseas, it is also an incredible experience where students grow not only professionally but personally as well. Here are a few of the benefits of completing your placement abroad:
A new adventure
Moving to a new country can be a life changing decision, moving away from family, friends and the day to day routines that you have been used to for a large proportion of your life.
However, it is also the most rewarding experience you could possibly embark on. You will be able to explore a new country and experience a new culture and lifestyle, working alongside local people.
It will push you out of your comfort zone and you will be interacting with new people on almost a daily basis.
Take time out on weekends to explore your new home as the year you are there will fly by, try and take in as much of the culture as you can.
Not only will you be able to have a great time in the process but when you return to the UK you will be able to impress friends and family with your new found knowledge.
Enhance your future prospects
Completing a year working in another country is going to look great on your CV and employers are going to see that you are able to adapt to new situations and the commitment to your career that you have.
In interviews for graduate jobs you will be able to draw on your experiences that you have had on your placement abroad and impress them.
Your international experience will set you strides ahead of other candidates, especially for organisations that operate globally and you will become a valuable asset for them.
You will have a broader awareness of the world and the differences between countries and cultures, and you will better understand the workplace dynamics of another country, which may be useful when communicating with offices abroad.
Whilst you are living in a new country it is important that you try and learn the native language as this is going to help your communication skills whilst on placement and opens up opportunities for you to apply for more jobs in the future.
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Meet new people
You will be spending a lot of time with the employees you will be on placement with and in most organisations there will be other placement students who will all be in the same boat as you.
Plan days out with your new colleges, especially if they are new to the country too, try new foods, immerse yourself in national holidays and try to take in as much as you can whilst you are there. The people you meet on your year abroad might even end up being lifelong friends!
Once you return to the UK remember to keep in contact with the people you have met whilst on placement, including managers and supervisors. Connect with them on LinkedIn and you may be the first to hear about opportunities in the future.
You will discover things about yourself whilst on placement that you didn’t know prior to starting it. Being thrown into unfamiliar situations where at first it may be difficult for you to distinguish between shampoo and conditioner or cooking instructions on the back of a meal.
However, once you have got used to the language and have to into a routine you will see how far you have come and how much you have developed.
A year in a foreign country is a big step, it might be useful to set yourself goals such as, where do I want to be in a years’ time? Or consider how this move is going to help you in your future career?
Once you determine the reasons why you want to make the big move and what you want to achieve this will push you further and give you more motivation once you are out there.
Finally, take the opportunity if you can to move abroad for your placement, you’ll have one of the best times of your life, meet tons of new people and see new and exciting places. Good luck with your search!
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