During his year abroad, Petar experienced a whole new world which allowed him to grow both personally and professionally
My passion for languages began in secondary school where I studied English and German in Bulgaria. My degree in Applied Languages at the University of Portsmouth (UoP) is allowing me to develop my passion into a career.
After finishing secondary school, I was looking at several universities in the UK and the Applied Languages degree at UoP seemed like the perfect fit for me. I chose to study German and French. The course has great career opportunities and I also fell in love with the rich history and energetic feel of Portsmouth itself.
Communication, organisation and teamwork
My Applied Languages degree really helped me develop three main and very important skills: communication, organisation and teamwork. During my degree I had the opportunity to work with people from different parts of the world and this really allowed me to experience different cultures and ways of thinking and working, which was an eye-opening experience.
Thanks to those skills I was also able to secure an internship in Luxembourg where I developed these skills even further.
In Luxembourg there are four languages spoken daily by the vast majority of the population. This allowed me to study both of my selected languages during one placement (rather than two placements for two languages). This was an amazing experience for me because I got to know so many new people with a completely different culture from my own. There I got to experience both multiculturalism and multilingualism which was amazing for me.
Living and working in Luxembourg
My year abroad helped me develop many more skills, but mainly communication and listening skills. I really got to master both the languages I was studying because I had to learn to understand and communicate, switching from one language to another almost instantly every day during my stay there. My year abroad was also an excellent opportunity to experience a different work environment, in a well-developed country, and to earn some money.
My year abroad was also very useful for me because I based my final research project on my experience in Luxembourg.
After collecting data from a variety of in-country sources, I was able to write a socio-linguistic analysis of the language landscape in Luxembourg, with a particular emphasis on the government’s and the business world’s attitudes towards languages and multilingualism.
I had the opportunity to write this project because of the connections I made when I was on placement. I interviewed eight people who were working in the government, in the public and private sector.
My final project was very beneficial for me because I want to pursue a career in marketing and communication and this is also why I chose to apply for a Master’s degree in media and business at Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands.
Support you can count on
The university was very supportive throughout the whole application process for my year abroad and the drafting of my research project. To pursue my passion, the university even gave me the opportunity to take some units related to marketing and communication in my final year.
The University of Portsmouth offers so many career paths after any undergraduate degree because every degree allows you to acquire both soft and industry specific skills. Once you finish your language degree, for example, you will have acquired all the skills necessary to go into any professional career you want.
The career service is also excellent and can advise you on career opportunities and can help you look for employment or further study at Master’s level.
Advice to others
My advice to other prospective or first-year students is to be brave and explore the different opportunities offered by the university; reach out for help, because there is a lot out there and make the most out of your years at Portsmouth.