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Hi, my name is Ruth and I have recently returned from a year in Spain. After studying Education and Spanish for two years at university, I decided to be an English language assistant in a primary school. Living and working in Spain gave me the opportunity to pursue my dream - I’ve always wanted to teach, and I love to travel so living abroad was the best experience ever. I learned so much about myself, faced fears I never thought I could overcome and developed connections to help me on my future career path.

I was placed in a small rural town with only 6,000 people, and despite the isolation of this location, I had the best year ever and still made so many friends and travelled so much on the weekends. It took a lot of getting used to in terms of unusual ways of travelling to what I was used to. Let’s just say, many mistakes were made in the process, but that’s part of learning and growing! Having the chance to work abroad in a career which I want to pursue felt like a dream come true – everyone was so welcoming and I loved the environment of motivating students to learn about my native language and the culture of my home country.

By going to Spain, I was able to work on a new area of myself. I had to learn how to go about getting a visa, organising legal documents in a second language and getting used to a new culture which is very laid back compared to the UK. This took some time to adjust to and accept that things were as they were, mainly the fact that nothing is ever on time in Spain! It also expanded my confidence; I said yes to every opportunity which came my way and this meant I experienced so much that you wouldn’t usually be able to do when going on a holiday. Despite the stress of organising stuff like the paperwork, the enjoyment and pleasure once you arrive in a new country is amazing. The world opens up to you with so many great opportunities which you would otherwise not know exist and gives you so many ideas about how to shape your future.

Living abroad, or away from home in any sense, is a great opportunity to develop yourself as an individual, take on new hobbies and interests, and explore things you enjoy. For me, I found that I love being a part of a community. I joined the local gym in my little Spanish town where I went to weekly Zumba, circuit and body tone classes and also attended private tutor classes with my friends to help improve my level of Spanish.

I would recommend living abroad to absolutely anyone - travelling and seeing other cultures is an education entirely in itself.


Study Abroad opportunities are available in Europe, Asia, USA and more. Find out more about the University of Chester's Study Abroad opportunities. 

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