Take on the world! – Durham’s travel options
by Helen Hadley
Compiling that illustrious CV proving a struggle? Disillusioned with the monotony of traditional lectures and seminars? With graduate career prospects at an all time low, could a year abroad provide you with a competitive edge, without the postgraduate price tag?
Whilst many students, seize the chance to escape the stresses and strains of dissertations and deadlines, for others, the idea of a year fully immersed in a foreign culture seems a daunting and intimidating prospect. Yet, with an increasing number of graduates turning to postgraduate study in an attempt to boost their employability, are today’s students failing to realise the true value of such a unique opportunity?
A privilege no longer reserved for the language student alone, the number of degree programmes offering the chance to spend a year overseas, has dramatically increased over the course of the decade, with multiple departments in Durham alone, now boasting strong links with highly reputable foreign institutions. Still you may ask, what more can a year abroad offer for the high flying law student, the aspiring politician, the driven chemist? The answer is simple, an opportunity to make crucial connections, boost your self-confidence, perfect a foreign language and ultimately change your life!
As unemployment grips the nation, competition for those all important summer internships intensifies, forcing many students to the bottom of the employment ladder even before graduation day. However, with many international corporations and law firms now offering similar opportunities overseas, it would seem that a solution has finally been found. Yet for many, the chance to intern at one of Paris’ many eminent fashion houses, to study law in Rouen, or politics in Rome, and all as part of your undergraduate degree seems just too good to be true. The reality is that employment overseas, could offer so much more than an average work placement, with even minimal knowledge of a foreign language immediately boosting employability in today’s global job market.
But, if the idea of yet another year spent locked in a lecture theatre brings tears to the eyes, or the very mention of an office job makes you want to run for cover, do not fear! With overseas placements no longer restricted to the confines of the boardroom and flexible timetables for foreign students, it seems that there is always time for that short break in Barcelona, or that long weekend in Venice.
Ever fancied making good use of all those family trips to Val d’Isere? Or, expanding your knowledge of the Italian Renaissance? Whether you decide to take to the ski slopes of the Alps, the exhibition rooms of the Vatican, or the offices of the European Parliament, you will be guaranteed one of the most unforgettable experiences of your life, and all whilst accumulating those vital credentials.
So why not take the leap? Throw caution to the wind, conquer your fears and take advantage of this incredible opportunity while you have the chance. After all, who knows where it may lead!