A Life-Changing Letter- Year Abroadery Part 1!

Hello Internet Peoples! I hope you’re all feeling peachy and perky today, whether that is inside or out (or maybe both?)! A little shout out to my madre who provided me with a delicious cup of tea, and made the writing of this blog post possible. All hail Eileen!

Aren’t you just so glad it’s June? I had my last exam on the 4th, so for me at least, summer has officially begun (well, as much as it is possible in Northern Ireland, given that we live in the midst of  constant drizzle).

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Look- the sun shone that day!

Today, I want to introduce you to the beginning of a very special adventure which is going to take place in my life very soon. Some of you may already be aware of what I’m up to, but for those of you who don’t…

This September, I’m moving to France to become a language assistant in a lycée. Très cool, non?

So I thought that perhaps before all the madness starts, I would give you wonderful people a little insight into the process of how this all came about, and my current feelings pre-France, well in advance.

Feeling them French vibes aujourd'hui 😍🇫🇷

A post shared by Amber McIntyre (@ambieeeeee01) on

Etudiante de langue…

So I’ve just finished the second year of my English and French degree, and after two years of crazy group presentations and trying to speak as little French as possible, it’s time to embark on my compulsory Year Abroad. In December of last year, I emailed away my application to the British Council, and didn’t think anything of it. I specified the age group I wanted to teach (people aged 15-18), I chose the type of environment I’d like to live in (city), and then I put down the region which interested me the most (a cute little place called Amiens). It didn’t really seem real.

Then in January, I got an email from the British Council to say the application was being processed. Still, didn’t seem very real.

In mid-April, I got an email which said something like “Congratulations! You’re going to be a language assistant in Amiens!”. And at that point, IT GOT REAL VERY QUICKLY.

Two weeks ago, I received a letter telling me which school I’d be teaching in, and how to contact them, so I’m currently writing a letter to the principal in the hopes of finding out more information about my job, the region, and hopefully finding somewhere to live. I also forgot how lovely it is to sit down and write a letter. Very simplistic and thoughtful, eh?

I’ve sat down to write a list of the things I have to do pre-departure, which has turned into a novella because good golly, there is a lot to be done when moving from one country to another! At the moment, my main priorities are booking flights asap, looking into insurance, and finding out how to get a translation of my birth certificate. That last sentence sounded very grown up *shudders*.

Dem Feels Tho

When I was younger, we used to visit Belfast (the capital city of Northern Ireland) about once a year, and I was always memorised by it. All the buildings were so big, the streets were lively and brimming with people, and it seemed like everything was much more shiny and bright. I was gripped by the novelty of it all. However, now that I’m a student there, and have been submerged into the “unreal city” for two years, it just isn’t the same; the novelty has well and truly worn off. It really is sad, because I see the reactions of my family and friends who don’t visit the city very often; I watch how they are captivated by the things that used to hold my attention, and I’m a little jealous.

My wish for my Year Abroad is that my region can recreate these feelings for me. I really hope that I’m as spellbound as I was as a kid in Belfast, and I have high  hopes that this is possible. So for right now, I would say that above all else, I’m really excited. Naturally, I’m nervous and a bit terrified, but I think I’m ready for a change of scenery.

So that’s really all I can say! If anyone reading this is also going to be working as a Language Assistant, please leave a comment and let me know what you’re up to/where you’re going- I really want to follow other people’s stories!

In the meantime, thank you all, as ever, for reading, and I shall be posting again very soon.

A bientôt!

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A French guide to Ireland- I will definitely be purchasing this in the near future for mes étudiants!
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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Hi there! I’m Bekah. I was stalking the Internet after searching ‘Compiègne year abroad’ because I’m also heading over there in a few weeks to become a language assistant, and I stumbled across your blog 🙂 So I thought I’d introduce myself. Hopefully we’ll get to meet soon- I can’t believe how quickly it’s all coming around.

    1. Amber says:

      Oh my word this is soooo exciting!! 😀 I’m glad I’ve finally heard of someone going to the same place!! It’d be great to meet up sometime out there- which school are you working in? 🙂

  2. Ditto! I’m splitting my time between two schools- Ferdinand Bac and Jacques Monod. Do you know whereabouts you’ll be living? I took the offer of accomodation at the Lycée Pierre d’Ailly mainly because it was cheap and I have dreams of travelling 😀 I don’t know if you’ve come across it yet, but this Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/718384781607595/ has a few posts from people who’ll be in Compiègne with us (one’s from Johannesburg and another is from Ecuador, I thought that was so cool!)

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