A languages degree has given me various transferable skills as well huge confidence in public speaking

Undergraduate student
BA Modern Languages & Cultures
Georgina studied Spanish, Portuguese and Italian as part of the BA Modern Languages & Cultures

Why did you choose Sheffield to study Languages?

From a very young age I lived and was educated in Portugal. I am lucky to be part of a culturally diverse family, which is one of the reasons I have always had a great interest and passion for languages. At the age of 16 I relocated back to the UK and worked hard to get my GCSES’S and A-Levels. I always knew that I wanted to go to University and upon my first visit to the Sheffield, I knew this was the place for me. I was welcomed to the Open Day with warm smiles and such friendliness, the University offered various informative talks not only with staff members but also with other language undergraduates to answer any questions and concerns, which put me at ease and left me feeling positive about the university. Someone once said to me ‘when you know, you just know’ and this is exactly how I felt about Sheffield.

What do you particularly enjoy about your degree programme?

The variety of different languages that the university offers is absolutely amazing and definitely the widest selection I have seen, I was so indecisive as to which language to choose. I began studying Spanish, Italian and German, then switched to Spanish, Italian and Catalan and then finally switched to my present degree – Spanish, Portuguese and Italian. Which brings me to the next best thing about my degree – the flexibility! You get a chance to try the most suited language for you and without the flexibility of my course I wouldn’t be as happy as I am today.

Are there any modules that you have particularly enjoyed during your degree so far, and why?

I have enjoyed all my modules so far, especially the core language ones, but there is one in particular I have really enjoyed and its Nation and identity in the Lusophone world. I was a little sceptical about this module at first as I was educated in Portugal and therefore thought it would be very similar to what I had already been taught over there, but to my surprise it was completely different and a lot more interesting to anything I have ever studied before. Our module leader, Carmen helped make this module engaging as we studied a film, different types of literature and also explored the Lusophone world, I learned so much with this module and it sparked an interest in something I had never really thought of.

Where did you go and what did you do during your year abroad?

I went to the south of Spain, to Granada and I was a language assistant for the British Council. I absolutely loved every minute of my time over there, I worked in a primary school and assisted teachers with Infantil (nursery), year 2, 3, 4 and 5. My job was to help improve their English by correcting their reading, talking to them in English at all times and introducing them to my culture. They were the kindest kids I have ever met, and I will truly never forget my experience, the staff at the school were also so nice and I feel so lucky to have had such an amazing journey. As for Spain, it was love at first sight. Their family orientated way of life, the café culture, the most amazing Mediterranean diet, the warm climate and its friendly welcoming people made my experience unforgettable. I gathered fantastic memories and definitely made lifelong friendships along the way.

How would you sum up your overall experience of studying at Sheffield?

I’m very happy with my decision of studying at Sheffield, I have met some great people along my journey and have made some lifelong friends and memories which I will cherish forever.

What skills do you feel your time at Sheffield has given you?

My time at Sheffield has given me various transferable skills: engagement skills, time management, peer groupwork, etc. It has also helped me broaden my language, communication and social skills, but most importantly and with the help of academic presentations, group work and support from the lecturers, it has finally given me huge confidence in public speaking.

What are your plans for after you graduate?

I have a few ideas and dreams, but it’s hard to make a decision! I have always planned to explore South America, as having already studied Spanish from two different regions – Andalusian and Catalonian, I would like to experience a different culture, history, biodiversity and dialect. I’m possibly going to complete a PGCE next year as I have always liked working with children, but my time abroad has really helped me confirm this decision, however I would like to teach and relocate abroad in the future. Additionally, when I was 16, I worked as a trainee Interpreter/Translator and I had the best time ever, to this day it continues to be one of my main highlights, so I would also like to explore that career path. Or, I am looking to teach Spanish in the United Arab Emirates for the Ministry of Education as I would really like to experience life in the Far East.

What do you like about Sheffield as a university and/or city?

I love the cultural diversity present at university, you get a chance to integrate with people of different cultures and backgrounds on a daily basis and you end up learning something new every day. As for Sheffield, it’s such a student friendly city, there is always plenty of events going off and around the city centre, from food festivals to concerts, there is truly something for everyone. For me, Sheffield is a ‘home away from home’. I feel settled, happy and welcomed in this beautiful green city.

Would you recommend studying Languages at Sheffield?

Absolutely, 100%. The University of Sheffield have supported, helped and accommodated me through a lot, and I couldn’t imagine myself being anywhere else.

Do you have any advice for students thinking about studying Languages in Sheffield?

Plan a trip to come and visit our friendly University and Sheffield and you will see what this beautiful city has to offer, come rain, sun or snow, you will find yourself wanting to return, I know I did!

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