Looking back on four years in German Studies

"Studying German at the University of Sheffield is an special experience. With a close community of passionate lecturers, an interesting range of culture modules, extensive year abroad options I could not have been happier." Nina Moubayed reports.

Two girls viewed on the back sitting by a river in Germany
Nina and friend sitting on the banks of the Neckarwiese in Heidelberg, looking to die Alte Brücke & Altstadt.

We asked Nina Moubayed, BA Modern Languages and Cultures (German, French), to look back on her four years at Sheffield.

"I have just finished my undergraduate in Modern Languages and Cultures (German and French) at Sheffield. In the last four years I have had the chance to study German philosophy, literature, history, current affairs and spend a semester at the prestigious Universität Heidelberg in the picturesque Baden-Württemberg. Examples of modules include The Restless Era: German Society from Empire to DictatorshipModern German Thought; Comparative critique of consumer culture and The Self and the Other – Negotiating identities in German literature (final year).

As well as giving me a fundamental and rich understanding of the culture of the German speaking world, this wide range of courses has encouraged me to pursue a double masters between the Universität Freiburg and l' Université Lumiere Lyon 2, where I will be able to develop my undergraduate knowledge whilst also having the chance to intern and live in both France and Germany.

I think one of my favourite aspects of German at Sheffield is how close and familiar the whole SLC community is.

Nina Moubayed

BA Modern Languages and Cultures

Year Abroad

I would never have even considered a masters, let alone abroad, if it was not for my incredible year abroad, an experienced enhanced by Sheffield and its unusually extensive range of work and study options. I spent the first five months of mine interning in Reims (France) for Information Europe Direct, an organisation part of the EU which informs young people of the activities and mobility schemes it proposes. This was invaluable for my French, understanding of the French workplace, and croissant consumption.

For the other half of the year, I was in Heidelberg, in the South-West of Germany and I spent the first month doing an intensive language course offered by the university, and then a semester studying. It was the unexpected things like the university Mensa (the German equivalent of a canteen but minus the soggy fishfingers and overcooked peas) and incredible collection of people from all over the world (I now have a friend – and free accommodation – in Australia!) that made this experience.

No number of excellently taught language classes or culture modules can convey an understanding of what it means to speak, live, eat and recycle like the Germans quite like the year abroad. The best part is that Sheffield is on the other end of the phone throughout the whole experience. Of course, not everything goes to plan, and nobody expects that it will, but with unlimited access to Sheffield pastoral support, tutor expertise and the experienced Global Opportunities team, this third year abroad is the ideal way of achieving complete cultural immersion.

Four young women standing on hill side in Peak district with Lady Bower in the background
Nina and friends enjoying the Peak District National park on Sheffield's doorstep

Final year

If my time at Sheffield was already wonderful in my first two years, then after the year abroad it only got better. Aside from the personal growth and maturation facilitated by the year abroad, I had also gained confidence and academic interest which meant that I was even more engaged when it came to my final year modules, and my friendships with course mates had developed as we had all had the chance to experience such a rich year abroad.

In this way, I think one of my favourite aspects of German at Sheffield is how close and familiar the whole SLC community is. This extends to the lecturers who have taught us since first year and translates to academic and pastoral support in a way which is very rare at most universities and on most other courses. I could not recommend Sheffield enough for languages, it is a warm (not literally) and happy city and am extremely grateful for the last four years."

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