Jennifer Akussah is currently studying Economics and Management here at Aston. Last year, she did a split placement between Stockholm University, Sweden and International School Moshi, Tanzania. Read on to find out more about her placement experience…
What did the work on your placement involve?
I was an exchange student in Sweden and I also volunteered for six months in Tanzania at International School Moshi where I was the Activities Coordinator for the primary school boarders. My responsibilities were to ensure that the children had weekend activities that were fun, creative and educational. I also assisted them with their homework and was active in the primary department during school hours where I helped during lessons.
What skills did you develop during your placement?
I developed so many skills from doing a split placement: I became more confident and a risk taker, I got to learn two different languages – Swahili and the Swedish language – and I definitely developed my communication and leadership skills.
What was the highlight of your placement?
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania which had been on my bucket list for years. Also meeting and networking with so many exchange students at Stockholm University – I got to travel with them and learnt so much from getting to know different cultures.
How did you secure your placement?
I was religiously on Aston Futures looking for opportunities abroad. I also received a lot of help from the placements team with my CV and applications and I am so grateful to them for the support before and during both placements.
Has doing an overseas placement helped or changed your plans?
It definitely has. My career goals have changed immensely because I got to study some specific modules at Stockholm University which I would not have explored if I had not taken a placement year. Also volunteering in Tanzania made me realise how much of an impact I can have on society and vice versa.
What advice would you give to other students thinking about doing a placement abroad?
Go for it. It looks good on your CV and gives lots to talk about during interviews. You also get to travel and meet so many incredible people and build long-lasting friendships.
What tips would you give to other students to help them make the most out of their placement?
Enjoy it. Live in the moment. It’s one year that you get to explore. Culture shock is totally normal. And if you ever need help with anything, Aston has got your back. You’ve got your placement tutor and the placement team to assist you during an adventure of a lifetime.
Placements are yours for the taking. So seize the opportunity.
Has Jennifer’s experience inspired you to undertake a placement abroad? Find out more about international placements, visit Aston Futures to search available opportunities or chat to us about your options.