Interview with Tamina Pain, a 2nd Year French & Spanish student at King’s College London.
Year Abroad Destinations:
Semester 1: Lyon II Lumière (University)
Semester 2: A volunteering placement in South America/University in Lima/ University in
Madrid/Alicante University – Still undecided as yet!
1. What is your biggest fear regarding your Year Abroad?
EVERYTHING…just kidding, it’s going to be great!
I don’t really have one big overriding fear, but my main ones are: finding somewhere suitable to live, whether I’m going to enjoy it, whether my oral fluency will improve enough, how to sort out my money abroad…ah…whether I’m going to get mugged or lose my passport, etc. etc. From the rational to the random.
2. What attracted you to choosing Lyon and Spain/South America as your Year Abroad destinations?
Lyon is known for being a vibrant student city – fantastic! Personally, I don’t really want to be in an environment as hectic as good old London when I’m attempting to improve my French and to get to know people properly. Yet, I would still like to be somewhere lively and bustling, and I have a friend there at the moment giving me inside information! So, Lyon it is – probably.
As for the Spanish side, I’m constantly drawn to the idea of going to South America in order to experience Spanish outside of Europe and outside of university, so I am in the process of arranging a volunteering placement in Uruguay (check it out, seems pretty cool), but I have some great universities in mind, such as Alicante University!
3. Biggest hope for your Year Abroad experience?
To become super fluent please? Well, to make some unforgettable memories, get to know some amazing people, speak a lot of French and Spanish (I have a big issue with comfortably speaking the former), but most of all, to just let go and enjoy it! I’m excited to be able to immerse in these cultures and I hope I make sure that I do.
4. How do you want to grow from your Year Abroad?
I would love to be able to gain a fuller appreciation of the cultures that I will experience. As for personal growth, besides ‘superfluency’ (one can dream), I think being comfortable with more independence and responsibility is my ideal outcome.
5. Advice or tips for 1st years or anyone considering a Year Abroad?
DO IT! You know it’s going to be worth it in the end – though I feel rather stressed at the moment, I’m itching to get things done so I can go off and do something completely different. Advice: get in contact with 4th years and 3rd years on their year abroad when you’re deciding. I personally have found it so helpful so listen to range of experiences, even about the same place. All the same, do your own research and go with your gut instinct. Go bug your personal tutors and the year abroad tutors if you have questions too, it’s their job. Also, don’t stress too much!
Lastly, thank you so much for sharing your story. It’ll be great to catch up with you later on in your journey, keep us updated.
If you’d like to connect with Tamina, share year abroad stories or give some helpful advice, follow Tamina at:
Facebook: Tamina Pain