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Invitation To The Voyage

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England

The summer I spent studying abroad

This story was published on student com.co.uk

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The world card where we all wrote down our names. 
 
Last summer, I decided to take the plunge and study abroad for the summer. From June to September, I decided to go to another country. I had already travelled before but never for so long and in a place where I didn’t know anyone.
I can still remember the feeling I had when packing my stuff the night before leaving (organisation skills!). I was mixed with feelings, in one hand I couldn’t wait to discover a new culture, new people and a new language but in the other hand I wouldn’t see my family and friends for a whole summer. Leaving your beloved relatives and best friends for people you don’t know, who would do that? I did, and so far it’s been the best experience of my life.
 
I headed for the hills, leaving my calm, French life for an exciting British one. So I landed on the cupcake island under a bright sun. I still remember that day because I always had in mind the idea of a grey country when it rains everyday and where people are quite sceptic when you start talking about the sun.
 
So many questions mingled around in my head: How are the people going to be there? Will I survive on my own? Will I be able to cook without burning the kitchen and turning it upside down? Will I get used to drinking tea and what about porridge and jelly!?
 
I stayed in Halls, I had an ensuite room and I was sharing the kitchen. I was independent, without having my parents on my back telling me what to do. This summer also enabled me to gain in maturity because I have learnt to live on my own without depending on someone.
 
During this summer, I had the best moments of my life. I met amazing people, I was lucky I was in an international college so it enabled me to meet people from all around the world:  people from Netherlands, Belgium, Brazil, Finland, Latvia, Russia and many more.  I am still in touch with most of them and I’m planning to visit them one day.
 
It was for me a once in a lifetime experience, not only did I discover a new culture; queuing for the bus for example, no one does that in France, having milk with tea, how people are open-minded and ready to help you, I also discovered a new me. I used to be a little bit shy, you know that girl who was very discreet that doesn’t talk much. I used to be that girl. But before going to England I made a promise to myself and I told myself that I didn’t have anything to loose trying to socialise and talk with people. I didn’t know any of them, they didn’t know me and if something bad happened I would never see them again.
 
I never thought that I could get so close to people so quickly; we all lived together for 3 months so we didn’t have any choice but to bond. The parties I have shared with them were the craziest ones.
 
I was lucky to find my friend soul mate, she was keen on baking and on ballet like me. I remember a day when everybody was beginning to fall apart and it ended up with a big argument, my friend and I woke up early in the morning and baked all day long. When everybody woke up
they all found baskets full of cupcakes in front of their doors, and let me tell you that cupcakes can fix more situations than you think.

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During this summer, I also took the chance to be with crazy people to tick off some of my bucketlist tasks. Like doing my grocery shopping in pyjamas.  You could never do that in France, everyone
would be staring at you thinking please go back in your asylum!

 

 

 

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It also took the summer for me to realise something I always wanted to make: a tiered cake. Unfortunately I didn’t have the opportunity to make a proper one but for my friends birthday I made an Impressive cupcake’ (I try to sell it as I can).

 

 

 

I am a little ashamed of this one but I even tried pole dancing, for a single session. It’s very physical!

 
This summer was so memorable: all the wonderful people I met, everything that I have done! I have spoken a lot about leisure, but I did also study there! I got my IELTS (English test) with 7 out of 9.
 
 I was so moved by England that I eventually decided to stay there for university. If you have the opportunity to travel, I would highly recommend that you take it, it’s amazingly surprizing how you can learn from something you don’t know and also from others.  We are young, it’s time to go and explore the world to broaden our horizons.

Letter to Self

Letters to self

A key part of the course is the ability to write creatively and to reflect upon the learning. So I wrote a letter to myself in one year’s time that outlines what I want to have done, produced, thought about, read, seen or heard and how I want all those experiences to help me in my personal and professional development .

Letter to self

Dear Nour,

  This year you took the plunge and plucked up the courage to leave your native country in order to study in England. A different country, a new culture and another language: you took the challenge.

You quitted your calm and peaceful life for an exciting and hectic one. You took your independence; your parents will no longer nurture you: you would have learnt to manage on your own. And it is here life is joining the course you chose you must not lean on others you have to find your own way; there will not always be people around you all the time. Some of them will help you sometimes but most of the time you will have to be clever and get by. I hope in one-year time you would have understood this, and that you would be less gullible. But I’m not very worried about it. I know somehow you are a pillar of strength.

You chose to add a step to this challenge by studying Journalism and Media, indeed get used to a new system in another European country will not be easy everyday. So you will have to be perfectly fluent and express yourself like your fellow classmates.

By the end of the year I hope you would have developed a vast array of skills that are this course demands.

You must know it, but what is making a journalist’s strength it’s his versatility: he should be able to react to any subject: sports, politics, entertainment, news, culture…Nowadays in any trade versatility is put on a pedestal.

You also chose to study a brand new language. As you know itbeing multilingual can stand you out when you will be looking for a job. Learning Arabic could just be an advantage moreover seeing that you want to become a reporter, speaking the language is a big part in understanding a culture and obviously it makes the communication easier.

Another point that is important in our society this days it’s sports. It represents an essential financial part on its own. I know that sport is not your all-consuming passion but it is important and considered by most of citizens nowadays. If you want to communicate with the world sport can be one of the master key so you made some efforts to try following the sport news, reading sports magazine and eventually by the end of the year you were able to explain clearly the rules of the off-side.

Obviously, by the end of the year you would have produced some piece of work that would have shown your commitment and all the progress you did throughout the academic year.

Another point that is also relevant in your study was confidence .I know talking in front of a large audience is not easy, how disturbing and awkward it can be. Nevertheless, I would like you to increase your self-confidence and trust yourself. You know what you are capable of, it is a part of the challenge you’re accepted: you must go the whole hog. 

You already had an insight of what the job of what the job of a journalist consists in. But sometimes it can be full of illusions. Do not delude yourself .It will be tough. You will be on the field, and you will see what is going on from the inside with professional journalists. Sometimes you’ll have to fight to find a place but it’s a part of the game. However I know you are willing to do your best to achieve you goal.

You made a very good choice by studying Journalism and Media, you have learnt a lot about the world, about people. It broadened your horizons. You have discovered so much; you rub shoulders with a new culture, a different ways of living. On the human side it was such a beneficial experience: meeting a very wide range of person that all come from different background. But also on the intellectual side, you’ve learnt how the attractive world of media is working and what you need to do to find your path.

To finish, I would say that throughout this year you kept in mind the most important which is the matter of journalism: the main purpose of journalism is conveying knowledge.  It is getting closer to people and help them to understand the world they are living in.

Nour”

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