12-Month Placement vs. Year Abroad
The year abroad scheme and taking a 12-month placement during your degree are definitely not included in all courses at Warwick University. These opportunities are available only for students in specific departments and are worth considering when planning for your third year of higher education. Whether you decide to take a year abroad or dive directly into the working field, there are pros and cons that you have to take into consideration before making a decision.
At the department of Applied Linguistics here at Warwick, you have the opportunity to take a non-compulsory year abroad, which means that you can put the theory you learned in the first two years of uni into practice, while also experience studying in another country and academic system. I believe the entire ‘year abroad’ scheme is for sure an option when you start considering what to do with your life in your third year of higher education. Some of the pros include: making new international friends, more study options in another university, traveling to new cities, exploring new museums, landscapes, experiencing a completely new different way of living with norms, traditions, food, music, new holidays, learning a new language or improving the one you started in your previous years at uni. The last pro mentioned is a pretext which all lecturers here at Warwick use in order to encourage us to take a year abroad in the country where the language we took for one or two years is spoken so we can improve our skills in that language. Some of the cons include: feeling homesick and lonely, a different academic system means different gradings, workload, assessments, having a long-distance relationship or even finding a new partner there and ending it at the end of the 9-month school period. Thus, I would recommend this opportunity to everyone who is aware of the cons as well as the pros, as it is not for everyone.
Another option is taking a 12-month placement programme at a company which is related to your field of studies. I feel like this option would suit me better, although there are as many advantages as disadvantages. Some of the advantages include: getting paid (around 16K a year, which is definitely not bad for someone who has 0 experience whatsoever), getting work experience for your CV and future career after you graduate, better opportunities after graduation. Some of the disadvantages include: graduating a year later than your friends and missing their graduation as well as them missing yours, having to pay £1800 directly to your university just because you are taking a placement (this is truly outraging), most placements are in weird cities or towns you have never heard of and you will have to move there for an entire year which is definitely something to think of and consider.
All in all, you can succeed without a placement or a year abroad after graduation, so don’t stress too much. If you want to do either of them, then I suggest you do and do without any regrets or fears. Make sure you do your research and don’t rush into anything. However, your first term is vital in terms of applying to jobs or at the year abroad office, as their deadlines are in November or December in your 2nd year of studies.