French and Spanish: Stefy Anna Aniyan
Stefy Anna Aniyan, a credited student from India, studied French and Spanish at the University Language Centre (ULC).
Why did you choose to study a language at The University of Manchester?
I've always been keen on learning new languages and, given that my main course of study is International Business, Finance and Economics, I had an option to study a language as part of my degree.
From personal experience, I can confirm that the entire language curriculum is excellent in structure and its facilities are beyond par.
The edge that a graduate who can handle more than one language in today’s globalized world has is unparalleled.
Apart from class time, how much time did you spend a week on your studies?
Given that The University of Manchester boasts a strong 10,000 international students, I had lots of opportunities to practise my languages with friends and colleagues within the university itself.
Adding up, apart from classes, I’d estimate that I had an additional 5-10 hours of practice a week. If you’re passionate and driven, you’ll find yourself picking up the language in no time.
How did you find your course in terms of level?
Each student has an opportunity to choose a level that suits them. This ranges from Introductory to Pre-Intermediate to Intermediate to Post Intermediate to Advanced.
I must commend the tutors who were in charge of teaching. Teachers were flexible and gave us the space to scale up or down in terms of complexity, teaching us irregular structures and the proper usage of verbs and phrases.
Overall, the content in terms of speaking, writing and listening were regularly practised in class and, by the end of term, every student achieved mastery of the content set out for us.
What did you most enjoy about your course?
Apart from the scintillating learning process, I enjoyed the small class numbers. It created a comfortable atmosphere which allowed mistakes and encouraged learning.
Moreover, I’d definitely say that I’d made a lot of new and lifelong friends in these classes.
Have you been able to put your newly acquired language skills to use outside the classroom? If so, please tell us how.
Along with using my abilities to communicate with friends on the university campus, I encountered many opportunities to use it in other settings as well.
I volunteered to teach immigrant parents English with a social-entrepreneurial society called Enactus within the university. Some of these parents faced difficulties understanding simple English phrases, and I was able to take that opportunity to translate these phrases to French and Spanish to them. Again, being a university ambassador, I’ve had the opportunity to talk to potential students and their parents in these foreign languages.
Moreover, I’ve had opportunities to conduct translations during my internship in Dubai.
What advice would you give to someone intending to study a language at the University Language Centre?
I would definitely advise people to go for it. Learning a new language not only stimulates your intellect, but makes you stand out when you graduate.
When you do go in for a language, make sure it is something that you would love to learn, and most importantly, practise as much as you can.
Above all, have fun - I guarantee that you will enjoy the entire language learning experience.