Should I study or work on my year abroad?

Planning a year abroad can be really tricky and stressful, especially if you’re studying a language. So long as you’re using the language consistently in your everyday life, you can choose how to spend it. The main dilemma for most students is between working and studying in the country of their choice – which is best? That’s up to the individual, of course, but here are three things to consider when deciding whether to study or work on your year abroad.


If you are especially picky about where you want to live, it might be better to opt to study, as then you’ll have more control over it. You’re almost guaranteed to get your first or second choice of university, but you might have to be more flexible for a job and sacrifice your dream location in the hope of getting work.


With most jobs and internships, there will be a salary, which could be a huge bonus if you don’t just want to rely on your Erasmus money for the whole year. Of course, there’s lots of ways to be thrifty when you’re studying, and there’s no reason why it has to be more expensive than Sheffield – but earning your own money can be just as satisfying as it is useful.


It’s important to ask yourself some tough questions before making a decision. What matters more to you? Do you want to do lots of partying, meet people from all over the world and continue to focus on academic work? Or would you rather knuckle down in a 9 to 5 and enter the ‘adult’ world of work (if only temporarily), probably having fewer crazy nights out but earning some money and getting something great for your CV? Only you know where your priorities lie – figure this out and it will all fall into place!

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