Outgoing Students 09.02.23

TV traineeship: Q&A with John Ayrton

For John Ayrton, gaining an understanding of the television industry on a global scale was a top priority. When he learned about the Erasmus+ Traineeship programme, he seized the opportunity to take his studies abroad to the United States.

Hi John! Tell us more about your experience abroad.

Male student wearing a grey Columbia College Chicago hoodie

Working abroad has to be one the of the biggest challenges I have faced, but I knew that it was vital for my development in the television industry to understand how these practices work globally. I had the amazing opportunity of taking part in the Erasmus+ Traineeship programme, working in the Mediterranean, Central Europe and Scandinavia. I also spent some time abroad on a study placement at Columbia College Chicago.

Did you notice any major differences in studying styles?

My study abroad at Columbia College Chicago showed me a vast difference in teaching styles compared to the University of Salford. My studies there consisted of a lot of discussion work when analysing media and it really enabled me to understand the way different people were portrayed in television.

In regard to working abroad, I felt it was a bit more laid back and this allowed me to have more freedom to learn about the industry.

What's the best thing about studying abroad?

Before studying in the US, I had never lived in a foreign country on my own. It was the first time I had ever been truly alone: I was petrified! However, it was the best thing I have ever done to help me develop as an individual. I met so many people and made so many friends for life and it allowed me to learn so much about myself. Personally, I think the best thing about studying or working abroad is learning to feel comfortable in your own skin and the culture that surrounds you. At first you can feel so alienated, but if you indulge yourself within the new surroundings and the people around you it becomes such a fun adventure!

What advice would you give to students considering studying or working abroad?

It is completely normal to be scared and have doubts, trust me I've been there! The key is to have confidence in yourself and just have fun, and you will meet people along the way who are in the same boat as you. The outcome of working or studying abroad is priceless, and it's such a beneficial experience to put on your CV.