Choosing the right course at the university may be a tough decision and you may get stuck. I chose this course because I love foreign languages and enjoy being challenged. Spanish was the perfect opportunity to pursue a topic I enjoyed whilst being challenged to learn something new. I decided to study Marketing alongside Spanish because of the job prospects there are after university. This combination proved to be a good choice as I really like how Spanish is taught at the university, it’s great to have conversational classes with native speakers, because it builds up your confidence and it makes it easier to think in your target language. If you like practice more than theory then marketing is for you as the lecturers provide you with theory and immediately show you how to implement it in practice.
My favourite year of studies was the year abroad, which is obligatory. Although at first I was very sceptical about it, as I didn’t have a clear idea of where and how I wanted to spend it, the coordinators supported us in finding a placement that would interest us in advance. I chose to go to Spain to work in an internship for a year. After searching for internships independently and with the careers service I got one as a summer counsellor in a small Spanish community called Asturias for two months.
When I went to Asturias I was really shocked. I had had a kind of stereotyped image of Spain in my head and it didn’t coincide with reality. I was pleasantly surprised! Asturias proved to be cold, rainy and windy, but the view made up for it, beautiful mountains to hike, immense forests to explore and a gorgeous seaside. Asturias not only provided me with a beautiful location to do my internship in, it helped me excel in Spanish significantly. Being able to converse with locals and apply my language skill I had learn at Aberystwyth into a working environment helped me push myself to learn more about the culture and language. While I was there, I was fortunate enough to succeed in getting another internship at a language school in Valencia. When I moved there, it was scorching hot, over 34 degrees! Over the course of the year, I’ve gained a lot of experience in working with children using various teaching methods and my Spanish has improved a lot. Studying at Aberystwyth has given me an amazing opportunity to gain more knowledge in a topic I have thoroughly enjoyed and improved me independence as I now feel confident not only in speaking a second language but working in one in a foreign country.
Studying at Aberystwyth was such a good idea. Not only have I been able to go on a year abroad, I have also made some really great friends. Although I was reluctant to go abroad, leaving my friends behind, I’m happy now that I’ve had the opportunity to live in a Spain. I would encourage everyone to take an adventure of a lifetime during their studies and go on a year abroad. Am I a different person now than a year ago? The answer is yes, I’ve got much more experience, I’ve learnt so much about Spain that you wouldn’t be able to find in a book, I understand the diverse culture of Spain and I can cook some delicious paella or fideua. This is all thanks to my course!