Placement blogs

Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences' students share their placement and year abroad experiences.

Sans prise de tête - hassle-free

📥  Politics, Languages & International Studies

This expression is hard to translate but it means something along the lines of, easy going, no hassle, simple.

Since my boyfriend was only staying for two full days, we spent the day recovering from a hangover from the night before (he met and socialized with my housemates which I think is important when he lives so far away) and then heading into town to explore and buy pastries and then have a meal out. Aix is a nice place because if I was staying somewhere like Paris I would be wanting to drag him out to do all the tourist things that neither of us can afford anyway it Aix doesn’t have a lot like that, it’s more cultural and happy just being a pretty city. So we were free just to wander round and enjoy being back with each other more rather than worrying about fitting visits to landmarks or whatever in.


Poser un lapin a quelqu'un - to stand someone up

📥  Politics, Languages & International Studies

To poser un a lapin à someone means to put a rabbit on them but it actually means to stand them up.

My boyfriend came to visit Aix (and me) for the first time today and a huge massive storm hit just as he was supposed to take off. I got very little sleep but he landed fine. I was very worried I’d be late seeing him because the traffic is awful here sometimes, but I made it, and we spent the rest of the day sleeping, watching movies and eating the cheese and other French stuff I’d bought.

I’m not soppy so I won’t say how amazing it is to see someone again after six weeks of just Facebook chatting them, or how my worries that a long distance relationship would be as impossible as it has been in the past, were completely gone before I’d even jumped on him Love Actually style at the airport. But I’m not soppy, so I won’t say that...


OUT, Spielberg and Real Housewives

📥  2016-17, Politics, Languages & International Studies

The weekend before starting my internship coincided with another important weekend for me; London LGBT+ Pride. It was my second year of being a flag bearer which, as the name suggests, largely involves waving a giant flag throughout the duration of the march. Whilst waiting for our time slot, I watched the march begin down Oxford Street in a flurry of glitter and music. I had noticed that NBC

Universal International was listed in the first section of the parade, but that didn’t quite prepare me for the double-decker purple beast of a bus that drove round the corner; emblazoned with the motto “Creativity is Universal”. Employees and their loved ones were both on the bus and walking beside it, handing out rainbow flags, t-shirts and stickers.

I now have a t-shirt with that same motto on the back, and have signed up to be on the bus at next year’s Pride. Commitment to diversity was a big reason why NBCUI stood out to me, so I made sure to join the internal LGBT and Straight Ally Employee Resource Group, OUT, shortly after I joined the company itself. Subsequently, I’ve been to an OUT BBQ where I met some great people and won a few prizes in a raffle (including a cracking Secret Life of Pets backpack in the shape of a dog). I’ve also signed up to be on the planning committee for the group, so hopefully watch this space!

Ultimately, I feel incredibly grateful to instantly have access to all these wonderfully supportive people across all departments (shout out to Daliah, I promise I will come and visit you up in editing). Starting any new job is nerve-wracking, but especially so if you feel you have to hide parts of yourself; something that neither helps your relationships or your work. As well as the OUT events, I’ve also attended events organised by the members of our International cultural awareness network (iCAN) and Women’s Network.

My attempts to get into the carnival spirit. My manager is the one with the pineapples.

My attempts to get into the carnival spirit. My manager is the one with the pineapples.

On a personal level, it’s made me come face to face with the level of inequality that does still persist in media today. When it comes to writing, the area that I would eventually like to enter myself, just 11% of film writers are women. ELEVEN. However, the benefit of working for a media company that fosters a positive attitude towards diversity is that I am able to maintain a shred of optimism in the face of statistics that inherently make me want to run away from professional life and live on an island only inhibited by cats. Discussions of persisting systematic inequality and who/what is to blame are not shied away from, rather, incorporated into the considerations of where to go next.

I have to mention another event that occurred last month; a town hall event at the BFI that featured a Q&A with Steven Spielberg. The first part of the event was an update on the business from the company’s Executives, including footage from upcoming films’ trailers (hello new 50 Shades), before the legend himself spoke to us. Now, I’m going to be honest here; I usually find standing ovations painfully awkward. Typically only a few people who actually mean it stand up first, followed by a general Mexican wave of people succumbing to peer pressure. Nevertheless, it’s safe to say that when the man who worked on Jurassic Park, Jaws, E.T and The BFG sits on a stage a few meters away from you, everyone gives a standing ovation with unwavering enthusiasm. Whilst answering his questions on stage, the thing that struck me the most was his unwavering dedication and enthusiasm for entertainment after so many years in the industry. He spoke of his excitement to work on a musical film for the first time and of the challenges that Virtual Reality present, on how he snuck into a Universal film lot and began his career with the company. The whole thing left me a bit star struck, and has stood out as a highlight of my (admittedly short!) time here so far.

Taken right before seeing the man himself. Photo does not capture inner freak.

Taken right before seeing the man himself. Photo does not capture inner freak.

Now, I realise I’ve gotten to nearly the end of my blog post without actually talking about my day-to-day job. It’s been remarkably busy, involving a couple of trips out the office, and has meant that my involvement with social media projects has increased. Most excitingly, an article I wrote for hayu got published this month! This involved the entertaining task of reading Real Housewives’ autobiographies and reviewing them, the results of which you can read here ( I am continuing to pitch ideas to the team so once again, watch this space, but I’m incredibly happy to already be doing some editorial work.


The verbal knives come out.

The verbal knives come out.

Time seems to be flying by already, but I know next month should have some exciting opportunities in store!


Boire comme un trou - drink like a fish

📥  Politics, Languages & International Studies

Boire comme un trou literally means, to drink like a hole, which actually makes a lot more sense than fish, since fish breath it... I'd never thought of that before.

Lectures in France are rarely the nice fifty minute sessions we have in Bath. My shortest seminar is 1hr15 and most of my classes are 3hrs, usually without a break. You have to drink water like a fish (or like a “hole”) to keep yourself awake!


Avoir la dalle - to be hungry

📥  Politics, Languages & International Studies

J'ai la dalle = I'm hungry. Food is very expensive here but my loophole is buying the Provençal pasta sauce instead of the budget but somehow more expensive tomato and basil.

What a fascinating blog post this is!

I think you have to sometimes just buy the things you want and not worry about money too much, experiences are what matter.


Le street-art

📥  Politics, Languages & International Studies

This ones a pretty obvious word and I’m not going to try and say I learnt it but I wanted to mention a really cute art festival I popped into with my friend which was all about street art. We got to make bags and spray paint and listen to people take about graffiti, it was quite cool! I made my bag look like bubbles because there’s a man in the town center who sits in a wheelchair blowing bubbles and I find it really nice.

My friends gone home now back to lectures we go!

I made a petit sac :)

I made a petit sac 🙂



Une navette - a shuttle

📥  Politics, Languages & International Studies

When researching buses to go to the airport and into Marseille, I got confused because I could only find things for Navettes. In Italian Nave means boat, so I thought I was researching Marseille boat trips but actually navette means Shuttle, in this case, like a bus. Useful or not, I learnt a new word.

Marseille was really nice and great for shopping but had some really dodgy areas.  There unfortunately was a lot of seafood being sold that made me go a bit green but apart from that it was great to go and explore a bit!



Une formule - a meal deal

📥  Politics, Languages & International Studies

I’ve been eating at bakeries for lunch recently to show my friend a nicer way of eating than the various bland pastas I usually eat for lunch, and I’ve learnt the French version of a meal deal (une formule) usually consists of:

A baguette or pie

A drink

A pastry

It’s like Greggs but maybe even better !

When in France, bake a Camembert

When in France, bake a Camembert


Intoxication alimentaire - food poisoning

📥  Uncategorized

I had to learn this word to explain to my housemates why I was sick… My friend and I went to this strange little restaurant since it was the only one with more than two veggie options, and I ordered mussels (can hardly say the word) and it gave me horrendous food poisoning, with pretty bad timing considering I’m supposed to be showing my friend around and taking her on a night out. Would not recommend. Maybe vegetarian people have a point…


Une cabine - a changing room

📥  Politics, Languages & International Studies

Une cabine is a word for a changing room. It sounds obvious when you think about it.

The reason I learnt this is because I had to go clothes shopping because the weather has dropped to about 18 degrees and it’s too cold and I need jumpers and boots. I’ve adapted quicker than I thought!