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I have lived in four countries in as many years! 2013-14 saw me on a year abroad in France, followed by my final year studying in Cambridge in 2014-15, then a stint of teaching in Spain until June 2016. I'm now based in Oslo, the capital of Norway, where I am getting to grips with the language and working as a freelance teacher, with a view to starting an MA in Higher Education next year. Yes, the travel bug bit me hard, so I'm quite glad I chose to study languages!
My degree may have been in French and Spanish, but over the course of the four years, I also took papers in Catalan, Modern Greek, Italian and German! Catalan is my favourite language, partly because of the amazement you're greeted with in Catalonia as a foreigner who speaks the language, but also because of the region's rich culture and heritage.
It's not all teaching, talking and travelling, though; as a keen scribbler, I put pen to paper (or keys to screen) by writing lengthy concert reviews for Bachtrack.com, the largest classical events finder online. A self-taught double bassist, erstwhile clarinettist and occasional singer, I really miss all the musical opportunities that Cambridge provided me with, and am planning to audition for a choir in Oslo.
Aside from all these heady academic pursuits, I am about to take my Zumba instructor course (going to Zumba classes definitely count as Spanish/Portugues...
It's safe to say that tutoring and teaching are my passions. My first move after graduating in 2015 was to Spain, where I taught English and French to all ages and ability ranges: one-to-one lessons for adults looking to improve their linguistic abilities for professional reasons; private tuition and group lessons for sixth formers wanting to study English at university; and games for hordes of cheeky Year 1s at the local primary school! I most enjoyed teaching the sixth formers. They reminded me of myself at their age (it feels so long ago!), and their lively, inquisitive intelligence is what motivated me most as a teacher - I would look forward to the lessons every week.
The culmination of my year in Spain was obtaining a Teach English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificate after a course I took at an academy in Barcelona. I saw this certificate as a great way of formally recognising all the experience I had gained over the past year, and my pass at Grade A - the highest mark - is testament to my abilities. What's more, I was praised as an 'excellent teacher' on my letter of recommendation from the academy!
I have four years' experience assisting Oxbridge applicants from my former sixth form by conducting mock interviews and giving feedback on personal statements, so have a solid understanding of what is involved and what will make you stand out to the admissions off...