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Year abroad stories: Bethan Morrish

French and English Literature MA (Hons) student, Bethan, reports from Brussels where she is working for BBC News Europe.

Photo of a student in Brussels
Bethan in central Brussels.

The Year Abroad is a key part of many undergraduate degrees in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC). Compulsory for some degrees, and optional for others, it’s a year of great change and great opportunity.

As part of a series of features on the Year Abroad, we’ve asked a range of current students to tell us about their experiences so far. Here, Bethan Morrish reports from her work placement with BBC News Europe in Brussels.

“After pursuing student media in a fairly big way in my second year at university, I was pretty much decided that I wanted to pursue a career in the media/journalism sector. Finding a placement that matched my language skills with my career aspirations was difficult, but this one popped up and seemed perfect. I realised it would give me the opportunity to develop my technical and journalistic skills whilst improving my French. Also, the office that I work in is responsible for covering Brexit from the EU side for the BBC - so it’s an absolute privilege to be working in such an important place at such an important time.”

Everyday means something different

“Needless to say, I’ve enjoyed almost every aspect of my placement. Possibly the best thing about the job is how varied it is; everyday means something different. I’ve also really loved working with absolute experts in their field - there’s so much to learn from everyone. It’s also been really interesting to see the process of how stories get pitched, researched, made or written and finally published. And of course to see breaking news situations in action is so exciting, and really rewarding when you see work that you contributed to on national television or radio.”

Opening up the Francophone world

“I feel that this experience perhaps hasn’t added to my degree in an academic way, but it’s certainly improved my language skills, as well as my research skills. I’m definitely more resourceful than I used to be, and more proactive. Furthermore, being in Belgium has opened up part of the francophone world that I never had any interest in before. I’m planning to write my dissertation on literature linked to Belgian colonial history, which is something that plays into conversation here a lot but would never have been on my radar before doing this placement.”

Are you interested in studying French at LLC?

Join French and Francophone Studies, and you’ll be part of one of the largest subject areas in a School passionate about languages, literatures and cultures, benefitting from a wide range of courses, great resources and friendly staff who are experts in their fields. You can take French as a single honours subject, or jointly with one of over 20 other subjects.

Find out more about studying undergraduate French at LLC

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