Spanish (Further and Advanced): Alexandros Kakoullis
Alexandros, a credited student at The University of Manchester, studied Further and Advanced Spanish at the University Language Centre (ULC).
Why did you choose to study a language at the University of Manchester?
I felt it was an extreme shame to lose touch with a language I had worked so hard on in my high school! Learning Spanish alongside my undergraduate degree of French and Italian aided me in terms of language similarity and speaking confidence.
Apart from class time, how much time did you spend a week on your studies?
Regarding language studies, I would spend approximately two to three hours per language outside of the classroom. It did not feel like studying when watching foreign television shows, reading journals, and conversing with native speakers of the target language.
How did you find your course in terms of level?
I would determine it to be between level B2 (moderately advanced) and C1 (advanced) in the European Common Framework of Language Learning.
It exactly matched the course description.
What did you most enjoy about your course?
The links and friendships I got to make with my peers. I made a number of amazing friends who were on the ERASMUS programme, who motivated me to go on my own study abroad period.
The teacher was always positive and never without a smile on her face. Furthermore, she was willing to aid my studies in any way possible by providing external material to improve my foreign language learning.
Have you been able to put your newly acquired language skills to use outside the classroom? If so, please tell us how.
We are embraced by foreign languages every day of our lives. Were I in the street and noticing a South-American or Spanish restaurant, I was able to apply my skills in the classroom to the test and read the menu or order in Spanish. I would hear Spanish being spoken by passers-by, and be able to feel that these skills were transferable in everyday living, no matter where one is from.
What advice would you give to someone intending to study a language at the University Language Centre?
Embrace this opportunity as it is not simply studying a language. You learn the entire culture encompassed by the language: the history, geography, food, dialects, customs, traditions and current affairs. You explore the identity of someone who lives in the target culture, and open up a world of horizons.
Having such competent and friendly staff at your disposition is a once in a lifetime opportunity. The course does not feel stressful or overbearing, and is an extreme privilege to be a part of. The range of languages available is unparalleled. Pick a country on a globe, and learn the language at the ULC.