It’s particularly pleasing to be able to post this blog piece from a very recent graduate on a relatively grey Friday here in Stirling, for from thoughts of parks, croissants and ice cream… Stephanie Rogers graduated in June of this year with a BA Hons in French and Spanish and is just starting work as an English Language Assistant in the suburbs of Paris:
“As I write this, I’m sitting in the Jardins du Luxembourg, with the sun shining and the sounds of people laughing and chatting. This reminds me of sitting in Stirling University, by the lake, seeking motivation to start writing an essay.
A year ago, I had no idea that I would be teaching English and living in the Parisian suburbs, meeting people from all over the world who are here to teach their own language. It is amazing to see how love for travel and learning languages can be so widespread, giving people the chance to make friends in all sorts of places, to experience so many things.
Through speaking foreign languages, I’ve forced myself to be more confident and a lot more relaxed when I meet new people. If grumpy Parisians speak to me in English, I respond in Spanish to confuse them, then the conversation quickly returns to French. Getting lost is no longer something I dread, instead, it is an opportunity to see a new place.
After graduation in June, I spent the rest of Summer working in Italy as an Au Pair for a lovely family in Falconara, on the Adriatic coast. I had my first experience of teaching English to a ten and an eight year old, though I think I learnt more about how to bargain with children to stop attacking each other. Thanks to the French and Spanish I know, I picked up some Italian, which was useful when you are lost in the forty degree heat of Bologna searching for the best ice-cream store.
Studying languages has been one of the best decisions I have ever made, because they can take me wherever I want. My Mexican flatmate wants me to go back with her when I leave France, but she also recommends several southern cities in the U.S. because I can practice Spanish there. Perhaps next year I will do a masters, although I may be applying for jobs or I may go and teach English in another country. But no more thinking about the future for now, I’m off for a croissant.”
Thanks to Stephanie for this blog post and we hope to be able to add updates on her year as an assistant, as well as tales from other graduates from the class of 2016, over the weeks and months ahead.