Alex is an undergraduate Modern Languages student studying Spanish, Mandarin and Translation. Here he tells us his favourite things about studying the Modern Languages programme at Birmingham. 

Written by Alex O'Brien

Portrait of student Alex

1. The variety of modules at UoB!

I didn’t realise how important this was, but by studying a wide variety of modules on different topics, I’ve grown an appreciation of various aspects of both my modern languages. These have included aspects of history, culture, politics, and linguistics, and have all helped me to gain a more in-depth understanding.

2. The array of opportunities outside my degree

Something which I have realised since starting my degree is that regardless of what subject you study, so many new doors are opened. I think the common perception is that people will always pursue careers in the specific field they’re studying, however it’s not always true. For example, I have been selected for a Spring Internship in the Global Markets & Finance Division at HSBC. The University of Birmingham Careers Network has been a vital resource, and tools like the CV checker and the personal support and guidance have been helpful with my applications.

3. The teaching structure on my course

In my opinion, the Modern Languages programme at Birmingham follows a good teaching structure. The contact hours on the course are mostly formed of seminar classes, which gives you the opportunity to have more hands-on and discursive learning time, whilst also growing your own confidence to convey ideas and thoughts in the target language. The classes are also of a good size so that it is not overly intense, but equally, you are able to freely participate.

4. The friendliness of lecturers/teachers

My perception when applying to university was that the relationship between lecturers and teachers at university is not like those that exist in secondary school. However, during my time here I’ve found all my lecturers to be friendly, knowledgeable, and always willing to help. This was another important aspect that I overlooked as it has helped me to engage with the content much more easily, as well as enjoy the time in classes.

5. The campus environment

The campus at the University of Birmingham is definitely one of its most attractive features. With the university accommodation, teaching buildings, library, and all other amenities within walking distance, it’s an easy place to get around whilst never being too far away from anything. There is always something happening on campus, and equally, you’re a short bus or train journey away from the city centre. The best of both worlds…