Monday, 12 September 2016

How Working Abroad Can Enrich Your Life

Hey guys!

So I am now in my 4th month of living in Barcelona and doing my placement and I still love it! Then I realised I have a meeting with someone from my university to check up on how I am doing. Then it dawned on me, that this happens half way through my placement.  

My god, next month I am half way through and it has gone so quick… too quick.  
If it went this quick how quick will the rest of my time here be? I am so not ready to leave Barcelona, it feels like home to me now. Also I can picture myself crying on the plane home and my family greeting me with smiles and me just in tears! (laughing at my future self-right now!) 

My initial plan next year was to go to Greece for 2 months but I have decided to stay here for a little while longer, probably be 4 months before I head back for university!  

Why? Because there is so much more for me to do here! Whether it is work in a hostel or a bar, I will be able to meet more people and create more memories. That means I would have been here for a year and 2 months so hopefully my Spanish will have improved! 

I recently read The Blonde Abroad´s article on her Study Abroad and the benefits from it. I have been a massive reader of Kiersten´s blog for a while now. She inspires me and this article inspired me to write about why everyone should have the chance to do a placement abroad.  

Study Abroad and Work Abroad for University both are different things and have different schedules but no doubt can teach you amazing things. But here are 10 Reasons why doing a placement abroad is the best thing to happen to me…  

1. You Make Life Long Friends 

It is amazing how many people you will meet abroad. In Barcelona I have met people from over 15 countries and everyone is so sociable and friendly.  

Barcelona in itself is a very sociable city, any time of day you will see people together having a drink. It is the same if I go to a Meet Up, I can walk in alone and come out with at least 5 people I have made friends with.  
You can meet up more with those people and explore the place together! 

2. You Get To Know a New Culture 

I studied a lot about Spain and what I found is that studying about Spain is completely different than living here! I love the culture here. I love that strangers will call you “guapa” or “tio” which are caring names like sweetie or love in the UK. It is really sociable, no matter what time of day everyone is with someone they know.  

I also found that they eat very late here which is different for me but still fun to look at. Another reason I love Spain is that they take their public holidays really seriously! It is a massive party whatever the holiday and it is about spending time with people family or strangers! In the UK, I find it is another reason for a night out! 
Since embracing the Spanish culture, my head has never been so clear. Your perspective will change and you will start to embrace life! 

3. You Have the Chance to Travel 

The best thing about living in Barcelona is the chance to travel around and see what Catalonia has to offer. Barcelona is big in itself so there is a lot to discover. I am planning to stay here for 4 extra months and work in a hostel, but I have planned trips to Rome and Croatia in April and August next year so I am very excited! 
There are so many places and things to do. I found that now more than ever, I hate sitting around doing nothing. Even going out into town for a walk makes me happy because even though I want to move out here again I do not know if I will ever get the chance! 

4. You Get Inspired 
Since moving here I have been inspired in many ways. First of all, the first month I moved I got a sense of a new beginning and wanted to be a better version of myself and make the most of my life.  

Then since I have been working, it has inspired me to do maybe change my career choice or give me more options. I have more focus on my blog and have got a few goals to reach this year. I have also found a passion for travel. I have been inspired to do a TEFL course with the possibility of more travel.  

You can find so much motivation and inspiration in yourself just by being put outside of your comfort zone! 

5. Learn a New Language 

I may have had a head start learning Spanish for 12 years but nothing prepares you more for moving to the country you speak the language of and speaking to locals. It is completely different to speaking to other English people who also speak Spanish, because we slow down to understand each other.  

Although every one speaks Castellan (the main Spanish language), Catalan is the main regional language. Even when speaking Castellan everyone´s accent is different. But with practice and my lovely Memrise app (you can see my post on Memrise here), I am not able to speak more confidently! Who knows, maybe spending an extra 4 months could make me fluent!  

I absolutely love having the chance to speak a different language and surprise people with my language knowledge!  

If you are a newbie to the language, it is also worth going along to language exchange meet ups! I went to one ad met a guy who has been in Spain for 6 months and started learning Spanish two months later and he can speak really well!  

It is incredible how people from different countries can communicate using a language other than their mother tongue!  

6. Looks Great on your CV 

Although, I am not really a fan of this tip, it is true. It will look great on your CV. When I first thought about doing a year abroad, I thought of the benefits to me and not necessarily impressing other people. I only thought this because what if I went hated it and the only benefit was to impressing other people and then me get nothing out of it? 

Luckily for me, I love my placement, love the location and love the time I am having. Having a year a 2 months living abroad will look amazing on my CV and hopefully open up a few doors for me!  
It will give you more skills than just professional, it will give your personal skills, experience of different culture and worldwide perspective.  

7. “Traveling—itleaves you speechless, thenturns youinto astoryteller.” ― Ibn Battuta 

This quote couldn’t be truer. When I first got to Barcelona, I was speechless. From the airport to our hotel I was taking in everything. In other circumstances my mother was speechless when she got on the plane… mainly because she is scared of flying but she was alright once we landed! 

From my first visit to La Sagrada Familia, Magic Fountains, Parc Guell, Tibidabo and even Shoko the club. It all left me speechless, everything is magnified in Barcelona and I have got a lot of stories to tell everyone! I am also saving to buy a new camera so I can capture all these moments! As much as this Samsung is a great replacement to my poor iPhone that has water damage from falling in the toilet I need a good camera! 

8. It Challenges You 

This is your chance to do something you wouldn´t expect and just power through and gain some personal experience!  

Work challenges me as all placements should as it puts all your learning Into practice. I was nervous, but I am so motivated that any challenges I have I face them as I want to learn and gain new skills!  

Of course, there are times when I am drained. It isn´t all sunbathing and sangrias as people expect my summer was! No, this past 2 weeks I have been exhausted! 3 months of doing something everyday without a break is exhausting! I have also been doing a lot more work on my blog probably about 15 hours at home which means I am technically working 55 hours in total. This was my own choice and forgot that I need to rest. But it has taught me how to balance! In University I was there 3 times a week for 2-3 hours a day. So 9 hours of study to 40 hours of work is a change! Balance is key! 

9. A Journey of Self-Discovery 

I have found so much out about myself. I thought I knew everything there is to know about myself. But I have found how confident I have become since being here. I was a shy child, then got more confident in University then early this year I was just not shy but wasn´t as confident as usual.  

It is nice to know that I can go into any place and meet new people and be up for trying anything! Whether it was the time me and Rikke joined a stag party or climbing to the highest part of Parc Guell! 
It is the perfect chance to find yourself! 

10. Makes You Appreciate Life 

It definitely does that. I have met people from so many different countries with so many different stories, that any challenges I have faced mean nothing and there is so much more to look forward to.  
It is your chance to make a life and experience for yourself.  

Take it while you can 

Mol xo 



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