Phoebe tells us what it's like studying three languages at Sheffield

Phoebe is from Herefordshire, and is a BA student in the School of Languages and Cultures. She studies French, Italian and Spanish.

BA student Phoebe.

Why did you choose to study in Sheffield?

Before coming to Sheffield, I had never really been north of Birmingham, so I thought it was time for a change! As soon as my dad and I arrived on the open day 4 years ago, the sun was shining for us, people were friendly and helpful, and the city had a great energy about it!

What made the University of Sheffield stand out for you?

I love the fact that I was able to study 3 languages; one of which was ab initio Italian. This is very difficult to find elsewhere in the country!

What do you particularly enjoy about your degree?

Without a doubt the variety of modules available - this year I have managed to further my Italian, getting it to a B2/C1 standard, write essays on a variety of topics including French medieval literature, and study classic Spanish films and their original works.

I really enjoy having the opportunity to choose your areas of interest within the modules; I’ve studied salsa, bossa nova, tango, French rap music and Italian politics in this year alone, and have even made a feature-length Spanish film which we were able to showcase at the end of the semester!

How did the School of Languages and Cultures help support you through the whole process from application to settling in?

We were always guided through the process, through countless emails from teaching staff, and were made aware that pastoral care would be there for us if we needed help with anything at all.

I love the fact that I was able to study three languages; one of which was ab initio Italian. This is very difficult to find elsewhere in the country.


French, Spanish & Italian

How did you spend your year abroad? 

On my year abroad, I went to Málaga in Spain and Reims in France for 6 months each. I studied German, French and Italian at the University of Málaga and also looked after 3 children twice a week to improve my listening skills and have a break from the university work! In France, I worked as a tour guide for Champagne Taittinger; giving visitors from all over the world tours of our famous champagne cellars in 4 languages, and then advising them on their purchases in our shop.

I can now say that I can successfully sell champagne to speakers of English, French, Spanish and Italian, which is something they just don’t teach you anywhere else! I also made amazing friends who I continue to keep in touch with and visit as often as possible.

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

Studying languages has allowed me to develop confidence in speaking publicly and in a variety of situations, which will greatly enhance my job opportunities in a career like marketing or sales.

Also, language graduates are highly sought-after, as we possess vital transferable skills such as the ability to analyse information and of course, from living in a foreign country, we are able to work independently on the job.

What are your plans after graduation?

I plan to find a job abroad, preferably in France, where I can continue to improve my favourite language and potentially set up a new life there!

What is your highlight of studying and living in Sheffield so far?

My highlight of studying in Sheffield so far has been making friends. As our course is relatively small in comparison to other courses, we are a very sociable group with lots of events going on! I’ve been to quizzes, salsa nights and even the annual Portuguese meal. Everyone is welcome to every social!