Recent SSH graduates share their memories of placement and year abroad below.
International Business and German
My year abroad was certainly the best year of my life. I worked as a Tax Trainee in Global Employer Services with Deloitte in Zürich, Switzerland. The placement year is so valuable. I gained so much experience and exposure to the business world, as well as another culture. It has helped me gained a wider understanding and helped me to see things more open minded. I worked with a great team and company, both of which I am looking forward to returning to. Beyond the professional side of the placement, I was also able to travel and explore much of the country and visit friends on placement in other countries.
Working as an IELTS Instructor at the VNUK Institute in Da Nang, Vietnam, was great and the opportunity to live in an incredible place was amazing, being able to immerse myself in a new culture made the experience even more challenging and exciting. I now feel far more brave when facing new challenges that I would have previously found scary and feel confident to take opportunities I might not have taken in the past.
Politics with International Relations
During my year abroad I worked as a Policy Officer & Project Assistant at ThinkYoung in Brussels, Belgium. Working in an international environment, you really learn a lot about other cultures and yourself. Working alongside Members of European Parliament and professionals from multinational organisations, I gained extensive communication and networking skills and experiences that I will always remember. My placement year at ThinkYoung allowed me to develop skills and gain experiences of which I am able to apply to any interviews or applications towards my future career. The fact that I also went abroad to work for a year allowed me to develop my language skills which makes me stand out from others and demonstrates an understanding of an international environment.
Sumbal Gul Zaman
International Relations and Sociology
I worked as an English Assistant at AFPA Istres, France during my year abroad. The highlights were getting to experience a new culture and having the opportunity to travel and explore new cities.It gave me the ability to live independently and filled me with confidence and open-mindedness for grabbing new challenges!
Business and International Relations
Working as a Teaching Assistant during my year abroad, for Activa in Ponferrada, Spain was great. The highlight was being able to live in a very different place as I worked among the local people. My placement prepared me for my future firstly through teaching my how to interact with different people from around the world of different ages groups and cultural backgrounds. The year in industry helped me build confidence through giving presentations and undergoing interviews - which made me more confident when going on for future interviews and reaffirmed my self confidence. A final crucial advantage of undertaking a placement year was the ability to gain experience before going on to apply for future roles.
International Relations and French
During my year abroad, I worked as a Trainee at the European Parliament in Brussels. The best thing about the year was being in the political heart of Europe, and experiencing new things every single day in a thriving capital city. Doing a placement has provided me with extremely valuable work experience, and helped me to develop my French language skills. When interviewers see it written on my CV, they are always impressed that I jumped in at the deep end and ventured abroad on my placement year.
Politics and International Relations
I did a split placement, spending part of the year as a General Election Research Intern at the Industry and Parliament Trust in London, and the rest of my year as Editor of International Affairs at Zapaday in Amsterdam. My placement year was significantly beneficial as it enabled me to gain insight into the working world of two different organisations both domestically and internationally. Alongside my placement year, I would say the fact that I was able to participate in extra curricular activities such as political simulations abroad to enhance my political theory was without a doubt the highlight.
Translation Studies French
I worked as a Language Assistant at Air France for six months and then worked for HSBC in Paris for the remaining six months of my year abroad. The highlights for me were helping to organise the annual HSBC Foundation for education event and meeting new people. It has given me experience in an actual working environment and has given me a great CV.
International Relations and Social Policy
I took an international placement, working as a Fundraising Intern for Transparency International in Berlin. I was offered a project assistant position on a multi-country project across Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa. The placement has opened so many doors, allowed me to meet people from across the world and given me a valuable experience for the future.
French and English Language
I did a study placement at the Université Paul-Valéry in Montpellier, France. Studying at a French university was very demanding and I learned to deal with all sorts of challenging and new situations completely independently. Placement year was a great year for building my confidence, determination and self-belief. It made me throw myself into everything I do and give everything my all! I really enjoyed travelling around the south of France during placement. It was great to visit such a variety of interesting places including Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, Cassis, Nimes. Placement year was great because I learned so much and came back to university with a greater focus and sense of purpose than ever before. This set me up for final year (and beyond), where I feel that I truly embraced my studies.
Business and International Relations
I worked as a Marketing and Communications Intern at Hewlett Packard Enterprise in Stuttgart, Germany during my year abroad. Living overseas, experiencing another culture and having the opportunity to work all over Europe on corporate events, were definitely my highlights. Because placement and graduate job applications are very similar, during my final year I was well equipped to perform my best at interviews and assessment days for jobs after university. Having already moved abroad for placement also gave me the confidence to apply for a graduate job in Scotland and I am thoroughly enjoying living in Edinburgh and experiencing the Fringe.
Business and Sociology
I did a placement in the UK, working as a Candidate Manager at Hays Recrtuiment in Birmingham. The highlight of my year was receiving the award for Intern of the Year as a result of my hard work. I developed numerous transferable skills such as time management and working to deadlines, which also prepared me to work under pressure. I delivered a presentation which improved my confidence as well as my communication skills as demonstrated by the positive feedback received for the presentation. I believe such skills to be desirable in a professional working environment, therefore experience of utilising such skills will help in my future career.
My year abroad was spent in Paris, working as an English Language Assistant for HSBC France. The highlight of the year was reaching that comfort level in the office where I had become so acclimatised to my new work environment that I felt like a part of the team - what I refer to as my 'work family'.I proved I could relocate and adapt to a foreign environment. My increased cultural awareness means that my mind is open to pretty much anything. Having placement experience with a reputable firm is the spark which can light the flame of success.
French and Spanish
I went to Spain for my year abroad and did a Teaching Assistantship through the British Council, where I was placed in a school teaching English. The placement helped me develop my teaching skills and my language skills and I enjoyed working with the other teachers in the school as well as sampling the Spanish culture and travelling across the nation.
International Relations and English Language
I spent my placement year in Paris, where I worked as a General Manager and Language Assistant at HSBC for part of the year and a a Digital Marketer at Digimind for the rest of my time. The highlight of my placement experience was being able to improve and really get a hold on the French language which at the start was not easy! I also enjoyed having the flexibility to travel around Europe and beyond to see friends and of course finding all the hidden treasures in Paris.First things first, it gave me the international experience both working abroad, but also working for markets outside the UK. It also built my confidence so I was able to throw myself into a new experience living and working abroad, whilst also improving my second language skills - you can't ask for much more!
I worked as a PR and Publicity Assistant at Bosch Power Tools in Uxbridge during my placement year. The placement taught me how to be responsible and independent in the real working world. I was lucky enough to experience working for a global brand and learnt some great transferable skills.As a marketing assistant at Bosch I interacted with many different types of people from other departments to customers of the brands. This gave me the confidence needed for future interviews and now I feel like I can interact with anyone and make an impression.
My placement was a Teaching Assistant role at King's Group in Madrid. The highlight of my placement year was getting to experience amazing Spanish culture. Although completely out of my comfort zone, I pushed through the challenges and had the best year of my life. I feel that my placement prepared me for my future career because I experienced an entire year within a school environment. By being a Teaching Assistant I saw every side to teaching: from playing football with the pupils in the playground, teaching them all about British values, and learning lots of Spanish from them! I gained the skills I needed to secure a place with Teach First.
French and Spanish
For my year abroad, I worked for part of the year as an English Language Assistant for the British Council in France, while the rest of the year was spent at Volunteach in Peru. Although I lived in a small town, I met some lovely friends who really helped me improve my French. Then, living in Peru was just overall the best experience of my life especially having the opportunity to live with a family and learn first hand about the culture. It allowed me to learn about the teaching career and to see how it differs in other countries. I also had the opportunity to lead my own classes which meant I had to plan, deliver and assess. This prepared me for the future and helped confirm my career path.
I worked for EHPAD at Bugeat, Correze, France, which was an old people's care home. I was based in the administration department providing activities to stimulate residents such as reading groups.The placement helped me with my French accent and also widened my vocabulary.