International Office - Aberystwyth University

Routes Lingomap: Letter from a language student

So here we are. It has been a long year, hasn’t it? It’s crazy to think that about 12 months ago I was just a university student studying and learning new things about the Spanish language, not knowing that those things I was learning would, one day, be useful in my life. I’ve met amazing people throughout my time in Mexico and Spain, and I wouldn’t trade this year for anything else. This is what languages do for you: they open doors, they let you find and live new amazing places and experiences. If we think about it, the chance of travelling gets a lot higher when we become polyglots. Who knows, maybe one day even someone that is reading this article might decide to take up the challenge and learn a new language in university, and eventually face a year abroad. Only time will tell.

So here I am, almost done with my year abroad, one step closer to my final year at Aberystwyth University. A common question at this stage of a person’s life is: what’s your career plan? What do you want to do for the rest of your life? The answer, in my case, has been set in stone since the first time I entered middle school at the age of 11: I wanted to be a P.E. teacher. Now, about 10 years later, things have partially changed. I still want to become a teacher, but my dream of teaching students about sports and health has come and gone. As you might have figured out by the fact that I’m writing to you about doing a year abroad, I want to become a language teacher. Just like the one that is probably standing right in front of you. I want to teach Spanish in a high school. Or maybe English, or Italian, who knows. My next step, right after I hopefully graduate, is to continue for one more year, get my teacher training done, and then start working. I don’t know where life will take me, but I sure hope it’s somewhere special.

When you’re going through a year abroad, not just the environment around you changes, but also you change. You go through the ups and downs of a new place, of a new job, or a new university. But you learn to deal with it. A person that spends a year abroad volunteering, just as I did, will learn to be patient, and persevere; to take every day as a different day, and that everything could change in a blink of an eye! I’ve learnt to work in a team without overpowering the rest, or letting myself stay in the background. I’ve learnt to participate in a consultation, to discuss and learn. I’ve learnt to teach children about virtues and life, while still making sure I was being coherent and respecting all those virtues myself. I sure have so much more to learn, but I feel that, thanks to this year spent around the world, I’m just a little bit closer to my goal.

And as every Spanish person would say at the end of a year long story: Colorín colorado, este cuento se ha acabado.

Check out my Instagram for pics of my year abroad: essbi07

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