Helen Pidd has been a Guardian journalist since her exchange year in Berlin, and credits studying abroad with getting her journalism career of the ground.
I spent my year abroad in 2002/2003 and got my first story printed in the Guardian while living there - a piece about how German universities were threatening to introduce tuition fees for the first time.
I also freelanced for various other news organisations throughout the year, in between doing university work.
Had I not been based abroad, I'm not sure if a national newspaper would have taken a chance on an inexperienced journalist like me. Up to that point I had only really written for the student paper, but being able to call up the Guardian and say 'I'm here and so is the story - how about it?' gave me the edge.
Having to suddenly use my language skills professionally was a real challenge, but I managed to conduct interviews in German and translate them into English for the paper. I still use my German from time to time today in my day job as a reporter for the Guardian.
This article was published on Jun 22, 2010