You learn so much about yourself and come out the other side of it having met amazing people and created so many memories.

Study Abroad student Katie Kinnaird
Katie Kinnaird
Year abroad
BA German and Linguistics
Katie spent a year studying in Germany as part of her degree.
Study Abroad student Katie Kinnaird

Why did you decide to study abroad?

I studied abroad because my course, German and Linguistics has a compulsory Year Abroad in the third year. This, however, was optional for my time abroad due to the Covid pandemic, so you could choose to skip the Year Abroad and go straight to final year.

Despite all the difficulties Covid imposed and not knowing how my Year Abroad would play out, I still really wanted to go. I had read previous students’ blogs about their time abroad and every single person who had been abroad seemed to be of the opinion that, despite it presenting challenges and putting you out of your comfort zone, going and living abroad was the most rewarding experience. For this reason I decided, despite Covid, to still do my Year Abroad and live in Germany and it was the best decision I could’ve made!

What were your top 3 highlights whilst studying abroad?

My first highlight was sharing an Airbnb with my friends and my sister in Berlin for the whole of March. I didn’t know what to do in March because this time was between working and studying so I had contemplated going home for the month, but in the end decided to live in an Airbnb in Berlin! It was the most amazing experience despite Covid, meaning lots of places were shut because we got to explore the amazing city and be tourists for the month!

My second highlight would be visiting Copenhagen for a few days. When you are living abroad, it is a great time to travel and see more of the country or surrounding countries and when I was in Hamburg a couple of friends and I did a little trip to Copenhagen. It was so much fun!

My third highlight would have to be visiting friends in the south of Germany, on the border with Switzerland. We did a tree-top adventure course overlooking the Rhine waterfall, which is, without a doubt, the most stunning waterfall I’ve ever seen.  

Study Abroad student Katie Kinnaird

What would you say to someone who was unsure about spending a period abroad?

Just go for it! Living abroad is undeniably one of the most intimidating things you can do for sure, but having experienced it, I would say just go for it! It’s very clichéd but you learn so much about yourself and come out the other side of it having met amazing people, having had the best time, having created so many memories, and having developed so much independence and resilience! 

What is the one thing you wish you'd known before you left?

I wish that I’d known that everyone is apprehensive and scared before they go. No one finds moving to another country easy, but this is the bit you don’t hear about that much.

I would actually say that one of the hardest bits is just before you go because you don’t know what to expect and have so many apprehensions. For this reason you just have to trust yourself that once you’ve left, you actually done one of the hardest bits already. After arriving, as well, it is much easier to feel less scared and anxious because you are beginning to settle into your new home, meet people and make friends. Overall, my time abroad was so rewarding and such an amazing experience, I came out of it with some amazing friends from all over the world and unforgettable memories, so I can’t recommend it highly enough. 

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