Lisa Cassidy studied for a BA Hons Modern Languages Degree (French with Spanish) at Newcastle University 2001-2005 and went as an Erasmus student to Université de Savoie, Chambéry, France for a full academic year (2003-2004).
Since graduating she has worked as an Employment Consultant in the Charity Sector and as the International Partnerships Officer in the International Office of Newcastle University.
Lisa explains, ’Having done a language degree and participated in Erasmus, it helped me realise that I definitely wanted a career with an international perspective to it. When I saw my current role advertised I knew that my own experience as an international student would be highly valued. I am expected to travel overseas in my current role and my employer knew that I would be comfortable doing so, having lived abroad during Erasmus.
My Erasmus year in France was an invaluable life experience, and had nothing but positive influences on me. I studied at the University of Savoie, undertaking modules in French language and culture, Spanish, philosophy and translation. My fluency in French improved dramatically, and as a result I achieved a high grade in my Modern Languages degree. In addition, living overseas drastically improved my self-confidence and I became much more culturally aware and responsive to change.
After returning home from France I was able to look back on my Erasmus year with great fondness, and having spent so much time with people from all over the world I realised that I wanted a career with an international perspective to it. When applying for jobs post-graduation, I was able to draw from my Erasmus experience in interviews to demonstrate my adaptability, resilience, cultural awareness and linguistic abilities. In my current role in an International Office of a university, I have to regularly deal with international students, both in the UK and overseas. I am in no doubt that my experience as an Erasmus student gave me an edge over other applicants for this position, as I am able to empathise with international students’ concerns and needs, and I have the cultural adaptability that is needed to regularly travel overseas.’