Portrait of Hannah Jacobsen

Hannah Jacobsen

I was immediately drawn to Leeds after visiting the Italian studies section and meeting the members of staff who make it such an interesting subject to study. At the time I applied to Leeds, Italian was ranked third in the country to Oxford and Cambridge so undoubtedly it was my first choice; I knew student satisfaction was high too and I felt confident I would have all the support I needed to study a language intensively from scratch – which I can honestly say I have had.

I have been inspired to learn the Italian language since a young age but not being offered as an option at school I made the decision to take on the challenge at university. I feel lucky to be involved with the Italian department and my dream of moving and living in Italy feels closer since I began studying here.

So far in my course I have found my cultural modules really interesting and feel prepared to go abroad for a year with a thorough cultural understanding of Italy. I have especially enjoyed my language modules; they are the classes I look forward to every week. All the staff are brilliant, classes are always fun and relaxed which is an ideal atmosphere for learning a new language. As a beginner I can see the intense work load paying off: I notice improvements in my language ability from one month to the next. 

The year abroad is what I am working towards now so I feel it’s a great way of keeping me motivated throughout my second year studies. I am very excited to be living, studying and possibly working in Italy and speaking the language every day. Additionally, it’s been a pleasure forming the Italian society which is becoming more established every week and seems really popular!

The facilities at the University, and in the School, allow learning a language to be made a little easier. I study mostly in the language lab which is never overly crowded and has all the facilities I need.  For my art module, the Stanley and Audrey Burton gallery on campus was really useful to gain an understanding of different artist’s and there is a mini cinema at Leeds too which is ideal for the film module.

Leeds as a city has a lot to offer, especially for students. You can guarantee to lively nightlife every night of the week whilst there is always the more tranquil areas Leeds has to offer. Headingly is great for lazy days if you’re looking for a café or pub and a short bus ride away there is Roundhay Park and Tropical world which are well worth a visit!
Outside of studying I train with the cross country society and I am on the committee for the Italian society. I also work part time in a restaurant and prefer to spend my free time with my friends. There is a society for everything at Leeds so I think it caters for every interest - even quidditch.

To anyone thinking of applying for beginners level Italian here I would say you will not regret choosing to study it! I genuinely feel I made a really great choice and studying at Leeds allows you to study a wide variety of subjects from art, literature, cinema, history and of course the language.  

When I graduate, I would either like to continue on studying or find a job in Italy. Eventually I’d like to find a career in translating or journalism. I hope to be living in Italy and speaking the language every day.