You will hear five short extracts in which people are talking about leaving their own country to study abroad.
For Task 1, why each speaker decided to study in another country.
For Task 2, choose from the list what each speaker says they gained from the experience.
I wanted to study medieval culture at university, but needed to earn some cash first, so I thought working as a plumber might help me achieve that. However, the idea of a short plumbing course in my own country didn’t appeal, so when I discovered one in an old European town I jumped at it. I’m bilingual so I knew language wouldn’t be an issue. But what made it perfect was all the ancient ruins in the area, which I was just itching to explore! Once there, I felt really driven to do well – there was just this new sense of optimism. I even went on to be the college’s best apprentice!
My brother and I had always played a lot of tennis, and I was about to take it up professionally but then injured my leg quite badly and had to drop the idea. So I upped sticks and got on a plane to do a sports science degree at a really old and prestigious university. It gave me a real sense of helping the next generation of top athletes to achieve their dream even if mine had somehow changed direction. And they were really grateful for that, so their recommendations opened a number of doors for me once my studies had finished. That was incredibly valuable.
I’d always been a great fan of detective stories and I suppose I’d always imagined myself being the one who solves the crime and catches the bad guy. Then quite by chance, I happened to read about a forensic science course in the States and realised it was my big chance as it would get me exactly where I’d always wanted to go. My family couldn’t get over it when I announced my plans. But the great bonus has been that loads of films are made in the area where I’m living, so I’ve got into that art form now. I’d never really seen myself as a movie buff before!
I’d lived in the city all my life and had plenty of friends there but we were all rushing around frantically as city-dwellers do. Anyway, I’d been reading about problems with the environment and felt increasingly I wanted to do something; but what? Then I discovered a course where I could train in agriculture and rural development, so off we went – me and my family. The area also offered perfect opportunities for me to apply my new-found knowledge, and I realised I no longer needed to rely on anyone to give me a job. We could go anywhere where I could set up by myself. It was exactly what we all needed.
I’d just qualified as a dentist and knew I could earn good money locally but the kind of jobs that were available just didn’t appeal, somehow. And the only courses that tempted me, if I wanted to top up my qualifications, meant going abroad; so off I went.  In fact, even though the course I chose was in English, we were strongly encouraged to learn the local language as part of our studies. And that turned out to be the best thing I ever did, because knowing the language made me feel I really belonged in the place. I ended up settling there, and I haven’t looked back since.