Tell me a bit about yourself
Hi! My name is Abbie and I’m from Yorkshire but I’m currently living and working in Somerset. I graduated from ULIP in 2019 and although I had a love/hate relationship with Paris (I’m a country girl at heart, don’t ask why I went to university in a hugely touristy city), I miss the busy streets and cheap wine so so much. Nowadays you’ll probably find me savoring my days off after working a 77 hour week, meaning either wandering the streets, drinking coffee with my friends or watching netflix in bed with a cup of Yorkshire tea, this adulthood lark is tiring!!
Career wise did you have a vision of what direction you wanted to take before/during your time at ULIP?
Before arriving at ULIP, I had no specific career plans in mind, I just knew French was my strong point and thought I’d figure it out as I went along. I didn’t really think about careers much in first or even second year but, the end of third year in sight, I really started to think about what I wanted to do and started thinking about masters in translation. Turns out, after a bit of research and soul searching, a career sat at a desk on my own didn’t sound that appealing and I wanted a more hands on career within which I was able to use my degree. I therefore decided to apply for a French PGCE whilst finishing off at ULIP that I had planned to start in September...
Since graduation has this vision changed?
Sort of, yeah! During the summer between finishing ULIP and starting my PGCE, I decided that I maybe wasn’t quite ready for another year of studying yet and applied for a job as a Resident French language assistant at a boarding school in Bath. Although it was a spur of the moment decision, I got the job and moved to Bath in September. I’m very glad that I decided to be a little bit impulsive as my role in school is rewarding, fun, and (as a bonus) I get to use my French every day. My career vision hasn’t completely changed, I still want to be a teacher, and I will be starting my PGCE this coming September at Oxford University (sorry, had to get that in there!).
What memories stand out for you from your time in Paris and at ULIP?
My time at university seems to have completely blurred into one huge memory of working (or not) in the library, sunny days trying to find the cheapest wine bars with my friends and listening to indie music whilst studying in my tiny apartment with my flatmate, Hattie. In terms of ULIP, graduating obviously stands out as my main highlight. Standing at the British Embassy with the small group of people that you’ve spent the last three years with to celebrate your joint achievement is really something to be proud of and certainly something I will never forget.
What advice would you give your younger self/current students at ULIP?
Definitely to make the most of it! I know everyone says that, believe me, I got sick of my parents telling me to do the same, but honestly that three years goes so fast. Make a bucket-list and do every single thing on it. Make time to do the things you enjoy and want to, because before you know it, you’ll be sat back in rainy England wishing you’d gone to that museum or gone to that free event you really wanted to go to but you were a bit too tired or the weather was rubbish that day.