Ellen, who studied French and Geography, worked as a British Council Language Assistant in Reunion Island.
“For my year abroad I worked as a British Council language assistant in secondary schools in the French overseas department of Reunion Island. In picking an overseas territory for my year abroad I did not make things easy for myself! I was very far away from all my friends and family, very few people spoke English (quite a few of the locals barely spoke French!) and the climate and environment couldn’t have been more different from what I was used to. But it was the best decision I’ve ever made.
Whilst not quite being the year-long holiday in paradise that most people assume it was, it was without a doubt the most incredible and unique experience. During the school holidays instead of travelling around Europe, I got to visit Mauritius and Madagascar. Instead of visiting museums and going to the cinema, I climbed mountains, watched volcanoes erupt and swam in waterfalls.
Although British Council experiences vary hugely, I loved working with the children and it gave me a whole new perspective on learning and languages. A year abroad isn’t quite as easy as it may seem, but it is really worth it. Challenge yourself, and you’ll be surprised at what you’re capable of.”