- Course: BA Spanish
Please tell us a bit about yourself and your background?
I am originally from Manchester and I am in the final year of my Spanish degree. I have been accepted to be a participant on the Teach First Leadership Development Programme, meaning that once I finish my degree I will be in training to become a secondary school Spanish teacher.
What made you want to apply to your course and to Leeds?
The way that language courses are structured at Leeds means that students are able to tailor their degrees to their interests. This flexibility attracted me to the course as I knew that I would be able to choose modules that interested me and that played to my skillset. Similarly, Leeds offers students a range of options of their year abroad, which was ideal for me as I did not know whether I wanted to study or complete a British Council placement.
What is it that makes you passionate about your area of study?
I am a very sociable person, and speaking Spanish has allowed me to massively expand the pool of people that I can communicate with. Without Spanish, I would never have been met the friends that I made on my year abroad.
What aspects of the course did you enjoy the most?
Aside from my year abroad (which I think most language students would consider the best part) I have really enjoyed the Spanish language contact hours, especially the debate classes. At first I was quite nervous about speaking in front of my peers, however my lecturers really helped me to feel at ease and boost my confidence when speaking Spanish.
What has been the most surprising thing about coming to Leeds?
I am most surprised about the strong working relationships that I have made with my lecturers. They have all willingly provided their support and guidance throughout my degree and I genuinely believe that without this I would not have achieved all that I have so far.
What would you say about the learning facilities in your School and at the University in general?
The University has a number of libraries across campus so there is always space for you to study. Language students are particularly fortunate as we have a dedicated study space called the Language Zone. In the Language Zone there are many useful resources such as materials in the target language (DVDs, newspapers, live TV from abroad etc.) and online translation software. Students can also apply to find someone to do a language exchange with, which is a great opportunity to meet new people.
What other activities are available for students to take part in outside of their studies, and which ones have you tried out yourself?
In my second year at University, I volunteered as part of the Students into Schools scheme. On the scheme I was placed into a secondary school as a language assistant to a Spanish class. On a weekly basis, I went to the school to help the students improve their Spanish. The experience was incredibly rewarding and, alongside my year abroad, confirmed my interest in a career in teaching.
What do you plan to do now you’ve finished your course, and how do you think the skills and knowledge you’ve developed at Leeds will help with these plans?
Once I have graduated I will start Teach First’s Leadership Development Programme to become a Spanish teacher based in Yorkshire. The experience that I gained both on the Students into Schools scheme, and on my year abroad as a classroom assistant in Spain, have made me realise that I wanted to pursue a career in education.