'Italy is a country so rich in history that it’s easy to become a lover of the stories of how this wonderful country came to be.' Photo of Florence by Daniel Peckham on Flickr/CC

'Italy is a country so rich in history that it’s easy to become a lover of the stories of how this wonderful country came to be.' Photo of Florence by Daniel Peckham on Flickr/CC

'Italy is a country so rich in history that it’s easy to become a lover of the stories of how this wonderful country came to be.' Photo of Florence by Daniel Peckham on Flickr/CC

What new perspectives can a year abroad provide a young person starting out in life? Hope Gaffney, who's spending eight months in Italy working as an English language assistant, explains how the experience is helping her grow.

'Not only is it good to get out and explore your new area or country but booking weekends away to visit friends gives you something exciting to look forward to.' Photo by Moyan Bren on Flickr / CC.

'Not only is it good to get out and explore your new area or country but booking weekends away to visit friends gives you something exciting to look forward to.' Photo by Moyan Brenn on Flickr / CC.

'Not only is it good to get out and explore your new area or country but booking weekends away to visit friends gives you something exciting to look forward to.' Photo by Moyan Bren on Flickr / CC.

Being the only young English person in a quiet town in a foreign country can be a daunting experience. University student Chloe Stout, who recently started an eight month stint as an English language assistant in Italy, explains why it's essential keep in touch, stay busy and be positive.

'Living in paradise means people don’t need a lot to be happy.' Photo by Franck Vervial on Flickr under Creative Commons licence.

'Living in paradise means people don’t need a lot to be happy.' Photo by Franck Vervial on Flickr under Creative Commons licence.

'Living in paradise means people don’t need a lot to be happy.' Photo by Franck Vervial on Flickr under Creative Commons licence.

Sarah Rainford, who is working as an English language assistant in Guadeloupe, explains why the experience is much more than just a beach holiday.

'Yao Ming is both a famous basketball player who currently plays in the NBA and an internet meme sensation.' Photo by Keith Allison on Flickr under Creative Commons licence.

'Yao Ming is both a famous basketball player who currently plays in the NBA and an internet meme sensation.' Photo by Keith Allison on Flickr under Creative Commons licence.

'Yao Ming is both a famous basketball player who currently plays in the NBA and an internet meme sensation.' Photo by Keith Allison on Flickr under Creative Commons licence.

What are the most popular sports in China and what can they tell us about the country? Ben McMackin, an English language assistant based in Nanjing, gives us his view.

'Knowing languages is a skill that will never fall out of fashion.' Photo by Matthew Burpee on Flickr / CC.

'Knowing languages is a skill that will never fall out of fashion.' Photo by Matthew Burpee, Flickr / CC.

'Knowing languages is a skill that will never fall out of fashion.' Photo by Matthew Burpee on Flickr / CC.

Alex Rawlings, who won a competition to find Britain's most multi-lingual student in 2011, explains why learning foreign languages is so rewarding, and how his school helped set him on this path.