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Hannaire Marion Mekaouar case study

In the February holidays of this year, I took the opportunity of a lifetime. Having chosen French A-Level, I decided to take up work experience within France through the enterprise Halsbury. However, this was not just any ordinary work experience placement. No, I was lucky enough to work for a week at a radio station - yes, an actual radio station that broadcasts from Rouen.

Travelling with over thirty other students from the UK, we all stayed together in a cosy, family-run hotel, located in the heart of the city.

At first I was terrified! What if my employers didn't like me? What if I wouldn't understand what to do? What if I couldn't speak French? These are just a few of the worries that were concerning me. Not only did I have to ensure that I met the high demands of my employer, but also I had to be independent in using public transport, ensuring that I arrived to and from work successfully. Yet, within days I was completely settled and by the end, speaking French was no longer a frightening prospect, but instead a welcomed challenge.

During my work placement, I wrote articles that were put up on the station's Facebook site and on the last day, I even was interviewed, in French, on a live broadcast show - really! Within days I had grasped such a higher level of language then I had ever before. My employers were both friendly and supportive, making me follow only one rule: to always speak in French.

In our free time, the other students and I explored the cultural and historical riches that surrounded us in the medieval town of Rouen. Each one of us felt so grateful to have been exposed to such an individual element of French life and at the end, we were all able to celebrate our achievements together at a disco and congratulation award ceremony.

Overall, it was an amazing experience, one that I, and many others, will all remember for a very long time. It has undoubtedly improved my bilingual skills and will hopefully be an aid to my upcoming summer exams. Thank you Halsbury! I would definitely do it again and recommend any language student to consider doing it too!