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French sojourn inspires a global gig

Lily Russell already spoke French, but felt she needed to go to France to really perfect the language.

I’m a third year Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws student. Organising exchanges can be a bit more tricky for Law students than for most other students, because of the very specialised nature of the degree.

But I had been lucky enough to be able to do the Introductory French extension unit during Year 12 through the University Connections Program, which meant that in first year uni I did second year French.

By second year, I started to think that my French should be taking me overseas. I wondered how I could extend myself past the classroom and apply my French to the real world.

With the help of the GLOW Lounge (Student Mobility) at UTAS, I made contact with a study abroad provider, Aim Overseas, and between first and second semesters of second year, I did a five-week intensive French course in Vichy. This was at an academy run by Alliance Française for foreign students.

They also organised a homestay for me with a French family who lived in a beautiful old house in the middle of town. We spoke only in French the whole time, which really boosted my language. I learned heaps.

The lowdown on overseas study: Find out why you should, when to go, ways to do it, and how to fund it.

I got a Commonwealth Government OS-Help Loan which I used towards flights and the program fees. I still got my Centrelink Youth Allowance. And the course was credited as part of my third year advanced electives.

Overall, the experience was amazing. It was also a really good confidence booster. It solidified a lot of things for me – not only language wise, but in my thinking about my career. I want to work in diplomacy for the Department of Foreign Affairs.

And I’d love to learn more languages. It’s daunting putting yourself outside your comfort zone, but it’s so rewarding and it’s really quite affordable. I think studying overseas really is one of the most valuable things that you can do for your degree.

Where will learning a language take you? Majors in French, German, Chinese, Indonesian and Japanese are available through the Bachelor of Arts.

For more info on overseas study, visit Student Mobility in the Student Union building on the Sandy Bay campus (PDF 785.7KB), call 03 6226 1805, or get in touch via email.