Jack on why he chose Sheffield

Jack studies French, Spanish and German. He tells us why he chose Sheffield for his BA.

BA student Jack

Why did you choose to study at the University of Sheffield?

My main reason for choosing to study at Sheffield was the opportunity to study three languages - something which isn’t possible at that many other universities.

I liked how there was no pressure to decide which languages you were going to study until you arrived, meaning I spent fresher’s week debating between some of the “nicher” languages but ultimately settled on German.

What made the University of Sheffield stand out for you?

Aside from my course, the accommodation was a very memorable feature of the Open Day.

What do you particularly enjoy about your degree? 

I love the fact that there’s so much variation. One hour you’re studying German grammar, the next having a Spanish oral class with a native speaker, the next learning about the French occupation.

What are your top tips for any students thinking about studying Languages and Cultures in Sheffield?

Give somewhere a second chance! I initially wasn’t sure about the University of Sheffield. I loved the sound of the course but wasn’t sure about the University but came back for a second look and decided I liked it (and have never regretted it!).

I suppose that’s another tip, go to the summer open days to give you plenty of time to consider all your options before applying.

Did you spend a year abroad? Where did you go and what did you do there?

I split my year abroad between Zaragoza in Spain and Neuchȃtel in Switzerland. In Zaragoza, I worked for a packaging company in their European Sales Department, so I am now an expert in corrugated boxes!

In Switzerland, I studied at University, which was a bit more of a standard experience but both were amazing in their own way and without a doubt, the Year Abroad is (as you are told at all the open days) a real highlight of the degree.

I think one of the great things about a language degree is that the year abroad makes you stand out to employers.


BA student

I also spent my summer in Germany working in a Kartoffel (potato) Hotel, which was a great experience. I met some great people from Germany and all over the world and experienced the true German countryside life - I even helped my boss move house and sat down for lunch with the entire extended family!

What skills do you think your degree equipped you with and how will this add to your employability?

A lot! There are the obvious language skills and then other less obvious things like organisation, planning, teamwork and presentation skills.

I think one of the great things about a language degree is that the year abroad makes you stand out to employers and in my extensive trawls of various grad schemes some actually say they look favourably on people with years abroad.

This is probably as the year abroad gives you so much independence and you learn so much in terms of confidence and communication as well.

What are your plans after your BA?

The big question! The great thing about a languages degree is there are so many options open to you. So for the time being, as I loved my time in Spain so much, I’m going to work as an English Language Assistant in a school in Spain from September and then after that who knows?

Maybe teaching, maybe something completely different.I’d like to continue to use my languages somehow, whether that’s living abroad or working in the language.