BSc International Management student Arianne, shares her experience of studying abroad in Madrid.
BSc International Management student Arianne shares her top tips for applying for your year abroad.
Hi! My name is Arianne, and I am half-English and half-Filipino. I was born and raised in the Philippines and moved to England when I was 18 to start my higher education at the University of Warwick. I am a curious individual who loves discovering things about and appreciating the world we live in. Outside of academics, I enjoy hanging out with friends, immersing myself in nature, making music and vlogs, reading, playing sports, and cooking random recipes I find on Pinterest.
When applying to universities in 2019, I got offers from all the schools I applied to in the UK. However, I chose WBS because it stood out that they offered a year abroad that was integrated with the course. I am being 110% genuine when I’m saying this, and not just for the sake of this blog. My parents and I would talk about how doing a year working in the industry was an exciting opportunity for me. Although other factors included that WBS offers a prestigious business course, a campus university, and is easily accessible to an airport (approx. 30 mins from Birmingham airport).
Applying for my Year Abroad
Since it was a part of my course, I felt that applying for my year abroad was relatively straightforward. Everything was on e-vision, and many forms had to be filled out, which was tedious (but worth it). There were many talks that I attended, and they were pretty helpful because I familiarised myself with all the support that WBS provides. I independently had to look for accommodation, get my visa and sort out the logistics of moving to Madrid however, I felt like it was a process that helped me feel more independent. Many students had to submit their choices for schools by the end of term 1. However, I only chose to study abroad in around February of term 2. Therefore, I had to pick a school from the list of partner Universities that was, obviously, significantly smaller than the original list. Seeing such a short list felt as if I had ruined the chances of having a good year abroad because all the “desirable” places were gone. But this was not true; after researching, there were multiple great places still available. IE Business School in Madrid stood out to me because of its location. I had to give my top 3 choices, and I’m so thankful to have gotten my #1 choice.
Support from WBS
The WBS CareersPlus Team and Undergraduate Programme Team supported me throughout my entire year abroad experience. There were a few personal challenges in the beginning, and the team provided immense support to ensure I was getting what I wanted out of my year abroad. As previously mentioned I applied late for my year abroad as originally I was going to go into a placement year however, closer to the deadline, it didn’t feel right. I decided that a study abroad was a better decision for me.
Additionally, during my year abroad, I made sure that I was still subscribed to the CareersPlus newsletter to ensure I was still making the most out of the support and services they had. I ended up attending a Careers Boot camp which was a 3-day workshop that worked on the different processes that entailed finding a job. I was praised for my participation, thought process, and feedback. Importantly, through this, I made connections with people at Warwick even though I was in a different country!
Why study abroad?
I believe that my year abroad has allowed me to develop and foster skills favourable to employers. Firstly: adaptability. During my year abroad, I was challenged to live in a new country, speak a different language, and explore a different culture. Additionally, a new country meant new challenges. Therefore, I had to find my bearings quickly. I find myself loving being in an unknown environment because it challenges me and my resourcefulness. I am now open to relocating because I am excited about living in a new space.
It's always great being in such a diverse space because you meet people of different backgrounds and cultures. This is beneficial in terms of networking potential because you grow your social capital. This is something you could potentially use in the future if you require assistance in your business venture. Networking is excellent, but the relationships you make need to be fostered. Therefore, after your year abroad, take the time to message the people you met. Additionally, it broadens your perspective on various ideas, and you gain insight into things you probably haven’t heard of before.
Lastly, I am now at an intermediate level of Spanish which would help me stand out during the recruitment process. Whilst learning a language through a textbook is good, immersing yourself in the country of origin is beyond great. This is because you are exposed to colloquialisms, speaking speed, and non-verbal communication unique to the country.
Find out more about Arianne's year abroad experience in Madrid and her top tips on how to make the most of your year abroad.