My name is Shira and I’m a Campaigns Strategist in the Marketing team at Kaplan’s headquarters in London. I’m from Essex in the UK, but during my degree at the University of Birmingham, I had the opportunity to study abroad in France and Spain. Here’s how I’ve been following my path, my way.
Deciding to study abroad
At the University of Birmingham, I studied French and Spanish and so I chose to study in both France and Spain during my year abroad. I spent 6 months in Lyon, France, and 6 months in Barcelona, Spain.
I jumped at this opportunity because I wanted to improve my language skills, but also because I wanted to truly immerse myself in 2 new cultures. I learnt so much during my year abroad and did things I never thought I could do! I ran English classes in France for French students, and I even worked as a personal tutor.
Living in France and Spain
I had very different experiences in each country. I loved the laidback culture of Spain and going to the beach after class. In France, the food and drink were amazing and the city I lived in often held festivals, which were always a lot of fun.
At first, moving abroad wasn’t easy but I soon settled in and made friends from all over the world, and I still talk to them today!
Studying abroad really made me understand what an important experience it is. As cliché as it sounds, it really does help you grow as a person. In England, I studied my degree 3 hours away from home, but studying in a new country made me even more independent and confident, and I realised that I could do anything!
Working at Kaplan
After graduating from university, I started at Kaplan as an intern helping to build the new website. I then joined the Print Marketing team for a year, and now I work in the Digital team creating brand awareness campaigns.
Sometimes I go on photo shoots with the team, where I have the opportunity to meet our students. I love seeing how Kaplan has helped them fulfil their dream of studying abroad — it’s so lovely to hear each person’s story!
Shira's path to success
Thoughts on studying abroad
My top tip for studying abroad is, if you enjoy writing, to start a blog. Either as a diary for yourself to look back on in the future, or to share publicly with friends and family back home to keep them up-to-date on your time away.
Having been through the experience of studying at 2 universities abroad, I can relate to our students and I understand what an amazing opportunity it is. Going to university isn’t just about studying — it’s so much more than that. It’s about growing as a person, meeting people from around the world, and creating incredible memories.
Studying abroad was a life-changing experience for me — one that I’ll never forget.