Luke studied abroad in Bordeaux, France for an academic year. He is currently a senior at the University of Sheffield, and plans on going into management or consultancy post-graduation.
Where do you go to school?
University of Sheffield
When and where did you study abroad?
Academic Year 2012-2013 – Bordeaux, France at Bordeaux École de Management
What was the BEST part about studying abroad?
The friends. Without a doubt. Also the food, eating out with friends is probably the best! Meeting people from all around the world in a melting pot of different cultures and languages was amazing, and everyone experiencing the same emotions from being thrown out on their own, in a different country. It’s incredible.
What did you learn about the rest of the world from studying abroad? What did you learn about yourself from the experience?
France does unbelievable food. Regional food is the best, cooked by people who grew up with it. You should never be afraid to make new friends, as they’ll turn out to be some of the best people you’ll ever meet! And the chance to explore and experience a culture so unlike your own, taking you right out of your comfort zone, and seeing cities so different and unique, it makes you want to travel more.
What was your BIGGEST challenge while studying abroad and how did you manage to handle it?
Language. I didn’t speak a word of French when I left, and coming back I still don’t speak much (Although I can order food, which I think is valuable!) It makes it so much more difficult having to online translate everything. I know it’s my fault, living in a different country, I should respect their language, and I didn’t expect them to speak English, I just never really went for it learning French.
How did studying abroad change your life?
Studying abroad made me so much more likely to just throw myself into something new. I went to France knowing no one, and have come out with some of my best friends. It also provided an insight into so many world cultures, across multiple continents, from a South Korean flatmate, to Argentine classmates, they all have their own unique views on life. I also dealt with French bureaucracy for a year, which is no mean feat!
What are your future plans?
Still a student, in my final year. Planning on going into management or consultancy, hopefully in London.
What’s your BEST piece of advice for someone who is thinking about studying abroad?
Do it. Don’t overthink the decision to go, just take the plunge. It will be the best decision you’ll ever make.