As a University, we actively encourage students to spend time working abroad as part of their degree through compulsory work placements. Working abroad is a life-changing experience giving you the opportunity to new people and develop new skills that will boost your employability.
Media and Marketing student Patrycja Rusek travelled to Canada last year spending six weeks working at an international modelling agency at their HQ in Calgary. Below, Patrycja shares her experience of working abroad, as well as her tips for Leeds Trinity students interested in completing their professional work placements overseas.
When thinking about going abroad, whether it's for your studies, for work placements, or even as a tourist, ask yourself what are you doing, and why are you going there? For me, I chose to work abroad in Canada because I want to live there after University, and the opportunity to complete a placement there allowed me to learn about Canadian culture, the people and the quality of life.
My first thought before going was 'How do I find the perfect company that I want to work for?'. I was proactive when it came to research, and then emailed businesses that I was interested in working for. I was also interviewed by the Director of my placement company on Google Hang Out – which helped with being in a different country and time zone.
Once I had secured my placement, I had to organise a Visa, find a place to live, book my flights, and communicate my travel plans with my employers in the UK. This was made easier with the help of the International office, who arranged regular meetings with me, and I was also in contact with my employer in Canada before arriving.
Due to work commitments in the UK, I was only able to spend six weeks in Canada, which meant I had limited time to travel outside of work. I was working in a modelling and networking agency called Numa Network as an Office Assistant at their HQ in Calgary. My role involved helping photographers, stylists and models during photoshoots. Sometimes there were three different shoots happening at the same time! It was really good fun and there was always something new to see. I always felt supported, met lots of new people through castings and felt integrated in the team – they were all so caring!
I also met lots of people through living in an Airbnb – which was fairly easy to organise. My flatmates were from France, England, Germany Asia and Italy. Staying in an Airbnb meant that my flatmates were always changing, and it was great to meet people from all over the world. I never felt alone as there was always someone around to spend time with.
Going overseas for your internship or for study abroad gives you time to get to know yourself and to challenge yourself. It is important to go beyond your comfort zone like I did! Being rejected is frustrating, nevertheless it's a part of growing up. We can be rejected ten times, cut off during interview but it makes us stronger and closer to our actual destination.
Leeds Trinity has a number of partnerships with placement providers abroad and this number is growing. All Level 4 and 5 students can participate in international work placements as part of their degree. Find out more about international placements at Leeds Trinity.