- Charlie Allwood
- BA Russian and Hispanic Studies (inc. Catalan)
Why did you choose to study your course at Sheffield?
At the time, Sheffield had the best-rated Russian department in the country, and when I came on the open day, despite the fact that the weather was horrendous, I decided I loved it and thought it was the place for me.
What did you enjoy about studying Catalan at Sheffield?
The Catalan Studies department has always been quite small, which is quite fortunate in terms of teacher time, and the style has always been quite relaxed. From a relatively simplistic course in first and second year, the jump to the fourth year culture and literature classes was quite the change; a steep learning curve that I am now grateful for, as it really helped me learn to expect what further study would be like.
Where did you go and what did you do during your year abroad?
I went to Barcelona and studied at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, 45 minutes outside the city.
I had loved Barcelona for many years, and although the initial experience of actually living there was somewhat intimidating, once I moved into my second flat, a whole new side of the city opened up for me. Living with Catalans in an area called Poble Sec gave me an insider view of the city. The nightlife is good, but the food and general lifestyle is amazing.
What have you done since you graduated?
Since I graduated, I stayed on for another year at Sheffield doing my MA with Louise Johnson, which turned out to be one of the best years of my life. Although the workload seemed enormous at the time, and it was a major step up from BA study, the opportunity for studying things that interested you was fantastic. Arguably I didn't appreciate quite how much freedom there was at the time, but nevertheless, it was a very satisfying year, and despite the mad rush to write my dissertation at the end of the year, it was a great experience.
Following on from that, I am currently in the third year of my PhD course at Queen Mary, University of London, doing a study of the Gran Teatre del Liceu, the opera house in Barcelona. Naturally, for the purposes of field work, I moved out to Barcelona and have since decided to stay and put down roots on a permanent basis in Spain. I still see my old housemates frequently, and live not that far from my old hunting grounds in Poble Sec.
As for the future, I plan to remain in Barcelona on a permanent basis, either looking for a job here or doing a post-doc on a Barcelona-related topic at a UK university.