My countdown has started. I now have less than a month to go until my year abroad begins. I have never been so excited and nervous about anything before and now comes my favourite part, the prep. 

I have been "preparing" for the move since September 2015 when I submitted my application to undertake a year abroad to my faculty advisor at university. By October I was already looking for work placements. The university give you a number of options on how to carry out your placement: you can study at an exchange university, you can work with the British council as an English language assistant or you can find a placement of your own. I chose to find my own placement as I felt that it would be more beneficial for my degree in French and Management that I work in a more corporate environment. 

I had some ideas of things I would want to do. I tried to focus on work placements in areas of management that interested me, like Human Resources or Marketing. I applied to many different well known companies (that is always a good place to start) like Loreal and Chanel (a girl can dream!) however I soon found that the qualifications for a work placement in a company of that standing were a lot higher than those I currently possessed. I started looking for more formation work placements. My university also sent us vacancies that we could apply for. 

My first placement was found this way. I sent my CV and a covering letter to the email given on the vacancy, and the next day I was offered a Skype interview. The first interview was with my manager and the second was carried out by the director of the company.  I was then offered a placement for six months which I start in August. 

After confirmation of the placement, I have been exchanging emails with my manager and getting myself in a state about what I am going to be doing once I get out there. 

There is so much to think about in regards to preparation for this kind of move. There are so many things to be photocopied, legal documents to sign, accommodation and travel to organise. I keep making lists but rather than getting smaller, they seem to be getting bigger. 

I still feel so unprepared, I like to be in control but this is one of those things that I can't have complete control over. I guess I just need to get there and settle, but for now my mind is running wild with all the things that could go wrong and no amount of preparation is going to stop this worrying. 

Are you about to go on a year abroad? What kind of preparation have you done? 

Published by Ciara Munnelly