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Gabriele Conradie BSc Management Sciences and German

Gabriele Conradie's Photo

Hi, I'm Gabriele Conradie and I studied BSc Management Sciences and German within Modern Languages at the University of Southampton.

I would definitely recommend studying a year abroad to other students, my German improved ten fold, it really is incredible how much it improves and how your confidence to use it was, coupled with my gap year, one of the best years of my life.

How did you get interested in studying Modern Languages?

I grew up with my parents speaking three languages at home and, as I have also travelled worldwide, I find it very exciting to be able to use these skills. It's great as you then really get to know the people and understand the culture.

Why did you choose to study at Southampton?

The language course at Southampton was ranked highly and looked good. (And there wasn't so much German literature involved!)

What is the best thing about living and studying in Southampton?

Everything is great, I love living in close proximity to everything: the gym, library, restaurants, etc. I think we have a lovely campus, I always enjoy walking around the university's grounds and it's nice to bump into familiar friendly faces.

Thinking about your Year Abroad, what did you do?

I spent my year abroad working full time in southern Germany, my office there was in a castle. I worked for a company called CEPA GmbH, organising faculty-led study abroad programmes throughout Europe for American and Canadian students. This incorporated everything from flights and hotels to guest lectures with CEOs from top firms. My main responsibilities were in the operations department but I was also able to gain some key skills in marketing, helping out with various projects. I played a central role in telemarketing and one specific project where we introduced a photo competition on Facebook. Furthermore, during my year abroad I played hockey for a local team and was involved in the local Fair Trade Group.

Did you enjoy your Year Abroad?

LOVED IT! It was tough at the start, I lived in the middle of nowhere, public transport was once every hour and stopped fairly early and at first my job wasn't too challenging. But I was patient and over time I enjoyed my job, had the best colleagues and decided living in the countryside and amongst vineyards wasn't all that bad!

What skills did you learn during your Year Abroad?

Well firstly and (obviously) my German improved ten fold, it really is incredible how much it improves and how your confidence to use it increases. I feel you can only really learn the language by submerging yourself in the country and language in question.  My general confidence also massively improved. I learnt more about my strengths and weaknesses and it also gave me the opportunity to reflect on what I would do differently once back home. My time management skills are now also superb, juggling all the above really taught me how to prioritise my time.  

Would you recommend a Year Abroad to other students?

Most definitely, it was, coupled with my gap year, one of the best years of my life.

What are you planning to do after you graduate?

Move back to Germany!!! I have a boyfriend there now ;) I hope to potentially get a job at Siemens.

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