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Year abroad questions. watch

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    I'm a second year language student due to embark on a year abroad in a years' time. For a few reasons I would prefer not to go abroad, but as the year abroad is compulsory we have been told we'd only receive an unclassified degree rather than Honours. I know this may sound a daft idea, but if I were to do this, would there be a way of achieving the extra credits to make my degree into an honours; i.e. Open university, diploma etc.,?
    I would really like to become a teacher, either primary or secondary, though I am not sure of how much less of a chance I would have against somebody who'd taken a year abroad, for example say if I took voluntary work in a UK school instead. I'm not sure how much this would matter for Primary school teaching? thanks.
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    Does anybody feel similar or has been in a similar situation?
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    If you want to become a teacher I think after you finish your degree you can do a PGCE and I don't think they care what class of degree you have, you can just apply for the course.

    However, the problems would come in when you apply to schools after finishing the PGCE. I think most schools would look warily upon someone with a unclassified degree (i.e. not even a 3rd).

    I know you don't want to get into the details but is this really the only option?

    Hope I was some help at least.

    Edit: After doing some more reading into it appears that most places require at least a 2.2 to apply for a PGCE.
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    In my university, you can get exemptions on medical grounds, and very very mitigating circumstances. Why don't you want to do the year abroad? I've only been here 2 weeks and I've already benefited from it.
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    (Original post by SuperSam_Fantastiche)
    In my university, you can get exemptions on medical grounds, and very very mitigating circumstances. Why don't you want to do the year abroad? I've only been here 2 weeks and I've already benefited from it.
    yeah, I don't think I would qualify for that, I don't have any medical reasons fortunately or any mitigating circumstances which would prevent me going, I just don't really like the thought of being away for so long, and as well my relationship, I know it will not break it but I would just find it so hard being away. Are you able to visit home as frequently as you wish, and if possible are you able to split your year abroad into two, i.e.- go for a few months, come home for a while and then do the other few months?
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    You can get mitigating circumstances in case of health including mental health. The year abroad is when your language gets really good and I would strongly recommend that you do it. Why don't you want to?

    Also, you require an honours degree to do pretty much anything. It would be a waste of time and money to do a non honours degree when you could have so easily have got an honours. As far as I'm aware you need a 2:2 to do a PGCE.
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    (Original post by fran1891)
    yeah, I don't think I would qualify for that, I don't have any medical reasons fortunately or any mitigating circumstances which would prevent me going, I just don't really like the thought of being away for so long, and as well my relationship, I know it will not break it but I would just find it so hard being away. Are you able to visit home as frequently as you wish, and if possible are you able to split your year abroad into two, i.e.- go for a few months, come home for a while and then do the other few months?
    Learning to be away from home is part of the year abroad. I found it ******* hard, I spent most of the year quite sad, but I still did it. You can visit home but it gets expensive and you're supposed to make friends out there! Spend the time with them, it's supposed to be fun too!. If you're doing two languages most unis let you split the year in 2, one semester in one place one in the other, but you only come home for the length of the xmas holidays, and you have to reach certain length of time spent in country. Also bear in mind it's not to avoid, it's to practise your language. If you go out there moping then you aren't going to enjoy it.

    And I know several relationships that survived the year abroad. It's hard, but you have to do it.
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    Say if I did graduate with just the unclassified degree, would there be any way at all for me to obtain the extra 120 credits at another institution without going abroad, or for only going for a shorter time period?
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    (Original post by thatwhichiam)
    Learning to be away from home is part of the year abroad. I found it ******* hard, I spent most of the year quite sad, but I still did it. You can visit home but it gets expensive and you're supposed to make friends out there! Spend the time with them, it's supposed to be fun too!. If you're doing two languages most unis let you split the year in 2, one semester in one place one in the other, but you only come home for the length of the xmas holidays, and you have to reach certain length of time spent in country. Also bear in mind it's not to avoid, it's to practise your language. If you go out there moping then you aren't going to enjoy it.

    And I know several relationships that survived the year abroad. It's hard, but you have to do it.


    So you are only allowed to come home at Christmas? Or do you mean you are only allowed to visit home over the year for the duration of the Christmas period, i.e. you could only be allowed to visit home for a total of 3 weeks or something..
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    I am a French final year student and was meant to spend my third year abroad. I at the time was worried over certain things, and only spent 6 weeks there because of severe health problems and relationship and family problems so I can sympathise with not wanting to go. All I can say is that everyone is different and you may enjoy it, but as far as I'm aware apart from extenuating circumstances (such as health and family problems) there's no way of getting round the year abroad I'm afraid. I'd also say that for your studies it does wonders. I've just returned to my final year, and everyone else is practically fluent, I've not done any French for 11 months, so it's definitely worth going.
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    (Original post by fran1891)
    yeah, I don't think I would qualify for that, I don't have any medical reasons fortunately or any mitigating circumstances which would prevent me going, I just don't really like the thought of being away for so long, and as well my relationship, I know it will not break it but I would just find it so hard being away. Are you able to visit home as frequently as you wish, and if possible are you able to split your year abroad into two, i.e.- go for a few months, come home for a while and then do the other few months?
    If you don't like the thought of being away - can you do the British Council assistantship? You can go home every school holiday if you wish, and weekends if needs be. For example - I've been here two weeks, and in about 3 weeks time I get almost 2 weeks off. Then it's back for a few weeks, before going home again for Xmas. I finish my contract at the end of April, honestly it's nothing, you'll be fine

    do you live at home for uni?
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    At UCL you get given a generic "BA Humanities" if you don't take your year abroad. It will lessen your employability as the year abroad is an integral part of a language degree.

    You've got holidays, just like at your home university. You can expect them to be different to what you are used to, but you'll still be able to come home for however long they are. For instance, Iceland has two weeks at Christmas and just Easter weekend, but it gets a huge summer holiday, which is in its favour. You can visit home whenever you like and most year abroads are very fluid in the amount of units you'll have to take at the home university.

    Seriously, it's an amazing opportunity and you'd be daft not to do just cause of your relationship. If it can survive, it will, and you'll have an amazing time, It's only about 9 months all in all, if we don't count breaks, and your boyfriend can come visit you as well, you know. You have to take the year abroad under the rules of the home institution, though, so you will have to be there when they want you there, not when you want to be there.
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    (Original post by fran1891)
    So you are only allowed to come home at Christmas? Or do you mean you are only allowed to visit home over the year for the duration of the Christmas period, i.e. you could only be allowed to visit home for a total of 3 weeks or something..
    You can come home whenever you want, it just gets expensive and actually stops you getting so good at the language as your immersion, and the longer you spend at home the less time you're speaking [language]. Also, the length of time you spend in each place has to be approved - I think if you spent one year in one place you had to spend 32 weeks there. If what you're doing (eg teaching) doesn't cover that length of time, at my uni you have to supply plane tickets to show you left after 32 weeks. They don't care if you go home often in those 32 weeks but it's generally assumed you're adult enough to recognise that you can't go home every 2 weeks and still hope to be good at the language or immersed in the culture. The holidays at xmas and maybe easter I'm not sure, aren't included in those 32 weeks.
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    (Original post by SuperSam_Fantastiche)
    If you don't like the thought of being away - can you do the British Council assistantship? You can go home every school holiday if you wish, and weekends if needs be. For example - I've been here two weeks, and in about 3 weeks time I get almost 2 weeks off. Then it's back for a few weeks, before going home again for Xmas. I finish my contract at the end of April, honestly it's nothing, you'll be fine

    do you live at home for uni?
    Yeah I would like to do that The only problem is that I've heard that you cannot guarantee where you would be placed, and i would much prefer to be placed as closer to home as possible than somewhere further away. Is this true? I live away during the week but come home every weekend and holidays as I am only about 30 miles away. thanks a lot for the advice, it has been reassuring
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    thanks a lot for the advice everybody
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    sorry I'm actually about 19-20 miles away from uni*
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    (Original post by fran1891)
    Yeah I would like to do that The only problem is that I've heard that you cannot guarantee where you would be placed, and i would much prefer to be placed as closer to home as possible than somewhere further away. Is this true? I live away during the week but come home every weekend and holidays as I am only about 30 miles away. thanks a lot for the advice, it has been reassuring
    I only lived 8 miles from home in 2nd year, and went home every weekend and holiday etc, and I must say I'm coping pretty well out here. What language are you studying? You can choose generic areas, with the British Council you get 3 choices as to which region you go to, so pick ones that are going to be within easy reach of home. Not just geographically, but in terms of transport too. You 're not guaranteed to get any of your choices but they will try and tailor to your preferences where they can. I'm in my 3rd choice region, and I'm so close to home it's untrue.
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    I'm on my year abroad now (in Russia) and while it's the hardest thing I've ever done, without question, it's also the most worthwhile. I think you should go ESPECIALLY if you don't want to. I really really didn't want to and I've been dreading it for two years, but I'm really glad I'm here. It's not as scary and difficult as I thought it would be, and having been in relationships for five years it's been really good to get out and be really and truly independent for once!

    Besides, it depends where you go. I have to come home every three months to renew my visa, but I can't really come back in between time because the flights are too expensive from Russia and it's hassle - also, my visa is only double entry. However, I have a friend who's in Paris and I know that her boyfriend was planning on coming out to see her every other weekend and she's going back to Cambridge to see him every other weekend, meaning they'll see each other every week. While I wouldn't really recommend that as it's quite a limiting schedule, if you were really worried about being apart you don't have to go too far away...

    To be honest, I would say that if you're scared of something you should always dive in and do it, and then you'll find out that it's not so bad. But that's the kind of person that I am.

    I would also say that graduating without honours isn't especially helpful, and you'll also be at a certain disadvantage in your third year as you won't have had the year in the country to consolidate your language skills. I've been here two weeks and I've learnt so much already, it's a huge learning curve and that will be reflected in the final year work.
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    year abroad was the best year of uni for me. scary at the beginning, yes. but once you get settled in, it is literally the best experience of your life.

    also, you're pretty much expected to be fluent in the language when you get back. you might find it hard to cope with the exams and such?

    i know this is not the point of this thread, but if i were you i would seriously reconsider not going. is it worth having to worry about the extra 120 credits?
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    I would really, really suggest going on the Year Abroad. It's fantastic practice for your language, regardless of whether you go to study or work or the Assistantship.
    I am currently at university in Paris, we have a week's holiday from 24th October, two weeks at christmas, two weeks in between the semesters, two weeks at Easter and then we finish in June. Those people doing the Assistantship finish in April. It is a great opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture and life of another country which you are unlikely ever to get again (certainly not without having a small fortune to support yourself without student loans and subsidies).

    I have also never heard anyone from my university who has come back from their Year Abroad not having enjoyed it. Go for it!
 
 
 
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