Lina standing in the archways in front of the University of Birmingham's redbrick buildings

Hi, I’m Lina. As a fourth-year student, I have so many highlights to share! Although my time at Birmingham was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, I still made the most of my time at uni. To share this with you, I've created a compilation of my top five moments as a Joint Honours student.

1. Year Abroad!

In my experience, if you ask a Modern Languages student about their highlight of studying languages at UoB, they will most likely say ‘year abroad!’

And this is no surprise! I went to Barcelona for a whole year in my third year and studied there at the Universitat de Barcelona. It was the best year of my life, because I had the opportunity not only to practice my Spanish and make Spanish friends, but also to travel.

I had enough time to travel around Catalonia, but also Andalusia and the Basque Country. In addition, because I lived with a Catalan woman, I had the opportunity to learn about many traditions and customs and took part in parades and cultural events in Barcelona. A great experience!

Street scene in Barcelona in the evening, with a neon sign saying "Barcelona" over a busy street

2. Great selection of modules to take

The possibility of choosing innovative modules was extremely important to me when selecting a University, and the Department of Art History made it very easy.

Each year, the staff offered us completely new and engaging modules that gave us a broader view of art from around the world. For example, I had the opportunity to learn about the relationship between art and politics and Islamic aesthetics in art.

These modules greatly developed my view of artistic practices worldwide. I really enjoyed delving into post-colonial, gender, and feminist approaches and discourses in the history of art.

Image of an old Islamic illuminated book with text in Arabic
An old printed book from a seminar that was part of the Islamic Aesthetics in Art module

3. Art History Trips

One of the most underrated highlights of studying Art History at Birmingham is the Department’s trips. As a part of several modules students are invited to join study trips. In my first year, we went on a day trip to London to visit the National Gallery and Tate Modern.

Unfortunately, due to the pandemic in my second year, our week-long trip to Berlin was cancelled. However, after the pandemic the trip was brought back for the current students.

4. The Barber Institute’s Friday Lunchtime Concerts

Not many students know that they can join free classical music concerts every Friday. They take place in the Bramall Music Building next to Old Joe

I would recommend giving it a go even if you are not a fan of classical music as their repertoire is diverse, meaning there is a lot of singing, guitar and piano playing.

A grand piano on the stage in the Barber Institute's main concert hall
The Barber Institute's main concert hall

5. Winterbourne House and Garden

I can’t emphasise enough how important the visits to the gardens were for my weekly routine. It's the perfect place to unwind after a week of classes and essay writing.

Admission is free with your student ID, and there is a cafe inside and a shop with cheap second-hand books! Make sure to pay them a visit!

A cup of tea and a slice of cake on a table looking out onto the beautiful Winterbourne garden
Tea and cake in the Winterbourne garden