- Course: German and Italian A
Please tell us a bit about yourself and your background?
My name is Domenico and I was born and raised in Buckinghamshire. My family is also Italian.
What made you want to apply to your course and to Leeds?
I have always been passionate about languages, as well as discovering new cultures and learning German and Italian history. The courses seemed very interesting with a wide range of different modules, alongside lecturers who seemed genuinely passionate about teaching them.I also saw how lively and vibrant the city and campus were as soon as I arrived for my first open day.
What is it that makes you passionate about your area of study?
Due to my cultural ties to Italy, I really wanted to become proficient and explore further what the country and culture have to offer, so I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to study it at university and integrate a year abroad. I also wanted to accompany Italian with a second language, and so chose German as I found the language very uniqe compared with other European languages.
What aspects of the course did you enjoy the most?
I really enjoyed discovering the peculiarities of the languages, especially Italian, and what makes them so diverse, as well as learning more about its rich history and literature. For German, I particularly enjoyed learning about its incredibly diverse contemporary history, and how the country has changed over time.
What has been the most surprising thing about coming to Leeds?
What really surprised me was the diversity of the students. Just walking through campus, I was able to hear dozens of different languages and meet people from all over the world. The number of societies also surprised me, as I could try things I never thought I would have the chance to try outside of university.
What would you say about the learning facilities in your School and at the University in general?
The facilities really are of a high quality. The availability of computer clusters, libraries and various study spaces is brilliant. Lecturers are also very approachable if you need help with anything and provide great support.
What other activities are available for students to take part in outside of their studies, and which ones have you tried out yourself?
Pretty much any sport you can think of, the university has a society for it. There are also different societies that aren’t sports and offer students the opportunity to meet new people. I mainly got into table tennis and squash during my time here, whilst also being active in the German and Italian societies.
Did you take a work placement or study abroad year? If so, how did you find this experience and what have you gained from it?
I did a work placement during my term abroad in Austria and studied in Italy for a year. I gained invaluable experience during my time abroad such as a greater awareness of different cultures, finding accommodation by myself and having to manage money effectively. Whilst working, I gained a lot of knowledge about the industry (transport) and it gave me a good insight into the day-to-day running of a large company.
What would you say to anyone thinking of applying to your course?
Anyone who is passionate about languages and looking to study German and Italian at Leeds will be ale to learn a lot about the culture and history of both countries, whilst also becoming proficient thanks to the brilliant teaching that the staff provide. The year/term abroad will also allow you to be fully immersed in the culture.
What do you plan to do when you’ve finished your course, and how do you think the skills and knowledge you’ve developed / you’re developing at Leeds will help with these plans?
I would like to either go into translation or find work similar to my term abroad, so transport logistics or supply chain management. I would also like to work abroad at some point. Studying at Leeds has allowed me to really hone in my language skills and deepen my knowledge on specific areas of Germany and Italy, such as translation and business, which will undoubtedly help me find a career that allows me to use my foreign languages on a daily basis.