Hello! Bonjour! Hallo!
And so it begins!
My name is Lauren and today I begin my year abroad, something I have been worried about since I chose to start my degree in Modern Languages, Translation and Interpreting! I am a quiet and nervous person, and so this is a massive step for me and I hope I can help those of you who are similar to myself prepare for your experience abroad. I write this post while I am sat on my flight to my first destination, Geneva and I still can’t believe it’s actually happening. I live in a small town and so a city as big as Geneva is a quite intimidating! Despite the nerves and apprehension, I’m excited to live in another country, speak another language and make friends from all over the world.
So, what made me choose languages?
Well, I love talking to people in their own language and I feel like you begin to understand the culture of their country better! But also I’d like to allow the world to communicate with each other, which often requires a translator. I study French at an advanced level and I started German from a beginners’ level at the start of my degree. During my year abroad, I will be spending 6 months in a French-speaking country and 6 months in a German-speaking country.
As a translation student, I am advised to study in a University and the Université de Genève is in one of the best cities for translation, thanks to the UN. Also, the University is situated only a few miles away from the French border, enabling me to experience life in France too! Despite this, Geneva does have some negatives. One of the biggest problems I have already experienced is the lack of accommodation for students! There is a massive shortage of accommodation in Geneva and after searching for months, messaging people 24/7, accommodation falling through…I eventually found somewhere to live. Another major problem in Geneva is the price! Everything is so expensive and as a student, this isn’t ideal, but I am sure the experience will be worth it!
The lead up to my year abroad was a stressful experience, thanks to all the paperwork and deadlines, but Go Global and the lecturers at Swansea University were always on hand to help! I sent daily e-mails to Go Global explaining my stresses, worries and problems, and they would reply within the same day! This was very reassuring and calmed my nerves. So once all the paperwork was complete for the Université de Genève, all I could do was wait for my results for 2nd Year. Once I had these, everything became real very quickly. I had to book my flights! Now it was official and there was no going back!
What do I expect from my 1st semester?
I am expecting my French to improve and to meet people from all over of the world. I am expecting to experience “culture-shock” at some point during my time abroad, but I have been well-prepared by Swansea to know what to do when I do experience it.
I hope you have enjoyed reading my first post and that I didn’t bore you too much! I appreciate you taking the time to read it!