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Surviving Your Year Abroad

A unique new book which promises to help the 1 in 3 year abroad students left feeling ill prepared for the experience by their university launches later this month.

A unique new book which promises to help the 1 in 3 year abroad students left feeling ill prepared for the experience by their university launches later this month. Figures from the British Council show that almost 13,000 undergraduates took part in the Erasmus work/study abroad programme in 2011, yet many set off for their destination both academically and mentally unready according to the findings of ‘Surviving Your Year Abroad’.

Penned by former year abroad student and professional translator, Nicola Beedle, the Surviving Your Year Abroad paperback is packed full of first hand experience and practical advice from people who have spent a year studying or working overseas. The book covers a range of topics, including essentials such as budgeting and coping financially, what to expect on day one, a step-by-step organization guide, how to make the most of the experience and the essential ‘must dos’, ‘how tos’ and ‘what to dos’. 

While researching the book, Ms Beedle spoke to almost 1000 year abroad students, questioning them on their experiences, insights, preparations, top travel tips and regrets. A staggering 25% of former Erasmus students admitted that they wished they had known more about the financial aspects of their year abroad, particularly how to budget for life in another country and how to handle cash when overseas before departing. Almost half confessed that they didn’t feel mentally ready for the experience with 30% citing poor guidance from their university advisors. 

Ms Beedle added, “In 2009 I found myself in the same situation many students face today. I was about to embark on my year abroad and I was scared, worried and a bit anxious about what my year abroad would have in store for me. I knew there was lots of things that I needed to do but I didn’t know where to start. I wish I would have been able to speak to previous year abroad students before I left. So, when I came back from my year abroad, I created Surviving Your Year Abroad and surveyed hundreds of year abroad students and carried out lots of in-depth interviews with previous year abroad students. All the ’been there, done that’ information has been poured into the Surviving Your Year Abroad e-Book – ready and waiting for anyone about to head off on their year abroad adventure to get stuck in.”

A year abroad is increasingly seen as a valuable asset by employers, with a 2011 CBI study into Education and Skills concluding that four in five businesses placed an extremely high value on international cultural awareness. It’s no surprise then that 98% of previous year abroad students said that going on a year abroad had had a positive affect on their life. 

Ms Beedle added, “One of the overwhelming points to come through when speaking with year abroad students is what a wonderful opportunity it is. 65% said that it had helped to increase their self-confidence for example, but the UK has one of the lowest numbers of overseas students in the EU. One of the aims of this book is to demonstrate how fun the experience can be and how a little preparation can make the task seem a lot less overwhelming. The mission is simple – to help as many students as possible to have a truly amazing year abroad.”

Split into easy to follow chapters, Surviving Your Year Abroad is an essential companion for any student about to embark on their year abroad. The book is supported by a website and blog, which provide additional resources and support. 

The paperback of Surviving Your Year Abroad is priced at £10.00. An ebook version, priced at £5.00 is also available. To find out more and to purchase, visit www.survivingyouryearabroad.comort. 

  • Date published: 14th April 2013

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