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The University of Southampton
Modern Languages and LinguisticsPart of Humanities

Beth Thomas BA French and German

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Hi, I'm Beth Thomas and I studied BA French and German within Humanities at the University of Southampton.

After just nine months at Southampton it already feels like home, and I feel very grateful that I have found friends who I can really identify with and can imagine staying in contact with for a very long time.

 Where were you born? Where did you grow up?

I was born in America, grew up in Brussels, Belgium and finally settled in South Wales at the age of seven.

What made you decide to study modern languages?

A genuine interest in how they are formed and learned, coupled with a talent and love for communicating.

Tell us more about the areas that you are now specialising in

I have opted to study linguistic modules in particular next year. I find the topics that linguistics covers, for example how language is 'formed' in both the brain, trachea and mouth and the ways in which language is communicated around the world, fascinating.

Are you enjoying your studies? What do you like most about your degree programme?

I am very much enjoying my studies. I am not denying that the degree is challenging, because it definitely is! However I have found the hard work incredibly rewarding and found that my listening skills have particularly been improved.

Linguistics is, as already mentioned, my favourite part of my degree. I have also found the lecturers and tutors of linguistics to be very engaging and professional.

What are your plans for your year abroad? How do you think this year will help you in the future?

I am currently beginning to search for internships with reputable companies in Germany, as I would like to take advantage of my year abroad to gain work experience for after graduation.

Do you get on well with the academic staff?

Very well, as far as I know. I have been helped enormously by my academic advisor, who supported me when I became ill in the first semester and also when I was campaigning to become German Soc president.

What's the best thing about living and studying in Southampton?

It is a very student-orientated city, containing two large universities, so it is full of like-minded students and there is plenty to do and plenty of places to go out.

What has been your favourite moment so far?

Being elected president of GerSoc. It was something I was very keen to undertake as I am passionate about the German language and Germany and cannot wait to help promote the language and get others involved in the Society.

How were the first few weeks at Uni?Was it easy to settle into your studies, make friends etc?

Yes. I found that I met some of my closest friends by going to the French and German Society events. The first few weeks of lessons can be a bit tense as everyone wonders how good their language is compared to the stranger sat next to them, so the LangSoc events were good places to mingle in a more relaxed way.

After just nine months at Southampton it already feels like home, and I feel very grateful that I have found friends who I can really identify with and can imagine staying in contact with for a very long time.

What are you planning to do after graduating? What steps have you taken towards achieving this?

I intend to do a masters in marketing as I would like to use my languages to help me work in international business.

Do you have any advice for people considering studying modern languages at Southampton?

You get out what you put in, so make the most of your time! In terms of work this means try your hardest and you will get results: if things do go wrong the support network at Southampton University is fantastic. In terms of extra-curricular this means have as much fun as possible, at university you have the opportunity to meet tons of different people and you are bound to meet people who share your interests.

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