18/12/2015, by CLAS
Learning languages at Nottingham
Emma with friends in Cádiz, Spain
I started my UoN career as an undergraduate studying French and Beginners’ Spanish. Starting a language ab initio was daunting at first but turned out to be a really rewarding experience. The first two years of study included intensive Spanish language classes with other beginners alongside a number of different literature and culture modules in the department. I then spent the Spanish part of my Year Abroad studying in Cádiz, an incredible Andalusian city, surrounded by the sea and beautiful beaches. Gaditanos, locals of Cádiz, have an infamously difficult accent to understand but are also some of the warmest and friendliest people you can meet; it must be the sun and sangría.
My Spanish improved dramatically while in Cádiz, and by the end of the semester in Spain I felt ready to put my new skills and southern Spanish twang to the test. In my final year at Nottingham, ab initio and post A level students were taught together. This was undeniably challenging at first but to reach a high level so quickly felt like a great achievement. Better still, by the time I graduated, the “beginners’” label had been dropped and I walked away with a BA in French and Spanish. I would highly recommend anyone to take up a language ab initio at the University of Nottingham. It’s a rewarding challenge and a great excuse to explore a new foreign country, culture and, of course, cuisine.
Emma in Paris, where she also spent time during her degree