One of our office people is leaving us this week to complete her studies in France. Here, in her own words, is her story…
In one week’s time I’m moving to France from my hometown in Italy. I’m going to Paul Valery University in Montpellier to do my final year of my degree in translation and interpreting. But it is not only about studying abroad, which is undoubtedly a really good experience for my future working life; it is also about living alone in a foreign country! I will have to manage my entire life solo; from cooking and cleaning to socialising and study time.
I don’t know what I expect from this year abroad. Not yet. I don’t think I’ve really understood how soon I’m leaving. That’s maybe because I’m moving not too far from my hometown, but that’s still seven hours away; anyway I decided to enjoy my last days so am quite relaxed about the whole adventure. I don’t actually have much information about how French universities work, and none about Paul Valery, but I know for sure that the French university system is a bit different from the Italian system concerning exams, internships and the graduation thesis; but I will surely discover everything once I get there. For me this is certainly a really good opportunity and I am so glad to spend the next year there! I will improve my skills in French, of course, but also in the other languages I’m currently studying: English and Spanish. In addiction I will get a “double degree”, a French one and an Italian one, and that’s the gorgeous thing! During this year I will have to face many challenges, translating and interpreting without using my mother tongue Italian for one. In fact some of the courses I have to attend are from French into English and vice versa, which will be tricky. I suppose it will be difficult in the beginning then become easier as I progress and I will surely have to pass from the source language through my mother tongue and then to the target language for translating in the best possible way; but I guess in a short time I will be able to cut the middle passage and manage my mind in the right way between two foreign languages! Furthermore the university I am going to is very big and multicultural: students come from all over the world. For this reason I will have the opportunity to meet many different people coming from different countries and continents, who have different cultures, costumes and traditions; I will have the chance to share my culture and ways of living and understand better the cultures of other people which can only help my understanding of the languages I’m studying.
In a few words: this is going to be an amazing experience!
Good luck Chiara!