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What our students say – University of Reading

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What our students say

The following quotes are from both current and past undergraduate students at the Department of Modern Languages and European Studies:

 

Choosing to study Italian at the University of Reading enabled me to pursue my interest in Italian culture and language in a very supportive and exciting environment. The department provided me with all of the tools and challenges necessary to grow as a language learner and the Year Abroad gave me the opportunity to expand on what I had learnt and have experiences that really were once in a lifetime! Graduating with a degree in Italian has provided me with skills that I feel are really going to help me in the future and I will always look back at my time at the University of Reading studying Italian with very fond memories.

Sabrina Beevor

BA Italian Studies and English Language Graduated 2015

 

My time at Reading allowed me to pursue my passion for French studies, and to further my academic career post A-Levels. I came to the university through clearing, so I was not entirely sure of what to expect. What I found was a welcoming and vibrant languages department. Everyone from the administration team to the teaching staff were pleasant and supportive from day one, which you are always grateful for as a first year at university! The course I followed was as challenging as it was captivating. My language skills were developed and my cultural knowledge broadened. My Year Abroad as an English Language Assistant in France consolidated the foundations built in my first two years, and this experience proved to be an invaluable asset in completing my final year. I am currently embarking on my second year of employment in France following my graduation, thanks to Reading's historic partnership with the University of Poitiers. I have the French department at Reading to thank for this opportunity, I certainly could not have done it without the confidence and linguistic competency I gained during my degree, or without the professional connections and career opportunities provided by the University of Reading.

Mark Wood

BA French & English Literature, Graduated 2014

 

Studying Italian at the University of Reading opened such up an incredible wealth of opportunities to me, the likes of which I would have never even considered before beginning my BA. For me, getting to grasps with a second language was an incredible gift, especially when done so in such a welcoming and supportive environment. Not only were my professors outstanding in terms of the pastoral support they provided, but also in respect of the academic challenges they provided me with, which I believe harvested my best abilities. The Year Abroad exchange programme helped me to gain a real grasp on the language and led me to make a series of wonderful international connections and so many life-changing experiences. The unique combination of English Literature and Italian made for a diverse and challenging program, throughout which I always felt suitably intellectually tested yet never overwhelmed.

Currently I work in Oregon, USA, as a Graduate Teaching Fellow in the department of Italian Studies, which means that I am essentially paid to study for my masters out in the States. Every day is an adventure,  and I would not be here now had it not been for the good people back in Reading who recommended me for the opportunity in the first place, but who most importantly inspired my learning.

Lora Jury

BA English Literature and Italian Graduated 2015

 

Having now graduated, I can say that studying French at Reading is the best decision I've ever made! The course was fantastic, with plenty of hours studying the language, and then lots of optional modules to cater for my own personal interests. The teaching is fantastic, and the teaching staff genuinely care about you and take an interest in you; I'm sure that's not the case everywhere! Having spent a year abroad in France as an English Language Assistant, and thanks to the great teaching at Reading, I have graduated with the confidence to start building a career in France, and am currently enjoying graduate life, although I will always miss Reading!

Aviva Cohen

BA French  Graduated 2015

 

'I absolutely loved my German course from start to finish. The staff are very welcoming and ready to help you however they can. I felt incredibly supported throughout my degree, whether it was about coursework, the Year Abroad or career options, there was always someone I could turn to. The German language is at the core of every module you study, but beyond that there is such variety that you'll struggle to choose! I started my degree feeling nervous about speaking German, but now I speak it every working day with ease. I couldn't have built my confidence like that if it wasn't for the Reading German section. Danke!'

Gabrielle Hibberd, German Customer Service Administrator, Lifeplus Europe

BA German, Graduated 2015

 

"I chose to study Italian at Reading because of its reputation of academic excellence and success, but no amount of external praise could have prepared me for what it really meant to be a member of the department. Studying Italian at Reading was like being part of an incredibly positive, enthusiastic and supportive family. You are known personally by all the staff, and people always make time to help and make sure you achieve the best of your capabilities. The ability to spend time abroad is an absolutely incredible experience that I would recommend to any student of any discipline, but as a language student there is no other way to fully immerse yourself in the culture and surpass any linguistic difficulties you may have struggled with before. I couldn't have asked for a better university experience, and since graduating I have returned to Italy to work."

Gabriella Craft

BA Italian, Graduated 2015

 

I chose to study at the University of Reading after attending a Departmental Visit Day. All the staff were so friendly and had such a passion for their subject that I knew I'd be supported all the way through my time at university. This was reinforced during Welcome Week when I met my Personal Tutor and the staff that would be teaching the modules I had selected. The ability to pick and choose my modules at Reading was also incredibly freeing as I found A Levels quite restrictive whereas I can now tailor my degree to suit my strengths.

Matthew Gray

BA European Studies 2015-2019

 

'Studying French at Reading has exceeded all of my expectations. The support from staff and students makes the university experience enjoyable and that I can talk to them about anything I need.

The course offers a wide range of opportunities to understand the history and culture of France which I have found interesting, as well as improve my language skills with the help of native speakers.

My favourite part has undoubtedly been the Year Abroad which I absolutely loved! The department offers a wide range of universities across France and there is also the opportunity to be an English Language Assistant. I personally went to the Université de Rennes 2 and had a great time, helped greatly by the amount of crêpes I ate!!

As for my future, the fact that the course is so wide ranging offers the opportunity to take any path, which is a chance that I am greatly looking forward to. I am sure that studying in the French section here has prepared me to face future challenges and I will always be grateful for the support that I have received. '

Sarah Tompkins

BA French and German 2012-2016

 

 'I really enjoy my German and French seminars at Reading, as the classes are usually small so I can ask questions when I need to without feeling like I'm interrupting. But the best part of my time here was certainly my Year Abroad in France and Austria, which taught me a lot about their respective cultures and did wonders for my confidence in teaching and public speaking. I also love the wide range of activities and societies to be found at Reading; while I've been here I've done everything from First Aid and Duke of Edinburgh to Judo, Sign Language, and Lockpicking.'

Archie Maybury 2015

BA French and German

  

'A teacher told me the Italian department was particularly good, then this was reiterated by my college, so I was confident the department had an excellent reputation. I also chose Reading because of Henley Business School. Both establishments offer great links with UK's most prominent employers and I couldn't turn down being part of this. On open days, I was treated as an individual, and I still have this sensation of not being just 'any other student'. I have a fascination with the Italian language and vibrant culture. The opportunity to learn from people who share these interests is exciting and a privilege. The student/teacher concept dissolves when mutual interests lie in that area. It is inspiring to see a figure of authority take pleasure in teaching. It's the same for the Management side of my course, as my mentors have had various experiences, giving me great comfort knowing that I selected the correct area of study.'

John Southgate

IMBA with Italian, Chancellor's Award 2011

 

'I chose Reading because of its great reputation as a research institution, particularly in Italian. With fewer students studying languages than other degrees, this creates a more intimate atmosphere, where students and staff know each other very well. The lecturers clearly have passion for their subjects and a great deal of care for their students'

Sophie Payne

BA German and Italian, Chancellor's Award 2011

 

'I started university after two gap years; I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Reading. I went on my Year Abroad last year spending ten months in Siena, Tuscany. Year Abroad is an experience I can only encourage people to pursue, as a language student it rapidly improves your language ability far more than just studying in the UK. The lecturers I have encountered and the opportunities I have been given both within and externally of the Italian programme have been far more interesting than I ever anticipated before coming to Reading.'

Kelly James

BA Italian and Classical Studies, 2011

 

'Studying a language at university level is one of the most enriching learning experiences one could ask for. It is such a great feeling to notice the progress you make throughout your degree and the confidence you build up. The department has a good selection of modules, both linguistic and historical content. Spending a year in France as a student was amazing - the colloquial expressions, the wonderful food, the French appreciation for art and the beautiful sights are just a few of my favorite things about my Year Abroad.'

Isabelle-Louise Houareau

BA International Management and Business Administration with French, 2011

 

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