James David McDonald
Modern Languges Studies
I chose to study Modern Language Studies. This included French, German and Russian. In my fourth year I had the opportunity to study beginner's Serbian. I really enjoyed my course, and studying more than one language certainly kept me on my toes!
In the 21st century languages are such an important part of our lives as UK businesses open up branches abroad and foreign companies set up their businesses in the UK. Not everybody speaks English! As I was coming to the end of my degree I had to decide what path I would go down. Did I want to go down the graduate scheme route? Or continue studying? In the end I decided to improve my Russian language skills. I now work at an English language learning centre in a small town about 50 miles from Moscow, and I'm really enjoying it.
I knew that teaching English as a foreign language would be enjoyable because I managed to gain work experience in this sector whilst at university. As part of my course I had to spend a year abroad in the countries of the languages that I studied, and I did an EFL teaching placement in Austria for four months. Throughout my time at The University of Nottingham, I had the opportunity to develop communication skills, analytical skills and certainly my independence.
I would recommend undergraduate students to use their time wisely at university to improve these skills. Work experience such as being an ambassador for the university on Open Days is a great opportunity to develop communication skills. There are many societies to join where you can expand on skills you've already learned such as the debating society, or one of the many sports societies. The possibilities are endless!