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The University of Southampton
Modern Languages and LinguisticsPart of Humanities

Isobel Kimber BA Modern Languages (French, German and Chinese), Fourth year

Isobel Kimber's Photo

I love that my lecturers are experts in their fields and will take time to explain everything to me. The student community is also really welcoming, and it’s so easy to get involved in all aspects of university life.

Why did you choose to come and study at Southampton?
I really liked the University on the open and visit days: how enthusiastic staff were, and how willing to answer questions. I also really liked how flexible the modern languages department is when it comes to the modules you can take: I could really tailor the content modules to my interests.

What were you anxious about before coming to Southampton?
I wasn’t particularly anxious before coming to Southampton, as I went to three different secondary schools, so the idea of settling in and making new friends wasn’t especially daunting, but I was a bit worried about being away from home while doing so, and how different studying could be at a university compared to at school.

Being away from home was an easier adjustment than I had thought: when I was in halls it was really easy to make friends, and adapt to the new living situation. Staff were also very helpful and answered all of the questions we had so that the transition from sixth form to university was not nearly so daunting as I thought!

What is it like studying here?
I love that my lecturers are experts in their fields and will take time to explain everything to me. The student community is also really welcoming, and it’s so easy to get involved in all aspects of university life, for me that was sports and I definitely have no regrets!

How do you rate study facilities at the University?
The study facilities are great! The study areas at Avenue Campus have all been renovated since I started at the university, and all to a really high standard. I like the variation in different types of study areas: if I need quiet there are places I can go, but if I have group work to do, there’s also group study areas. The sports facilities are also great, and keep being updated too. Everything is very modern.

What have been your Southampton ‘highlights’ so far?
One of my major highlights has to be the year abroad: I really enjoyed my time abroad, and my German and my confidence both really improved over the time there. Also, the opportunities afforded by studying abroad, not only during my year abroad but also attending two summer schools have both been fantastic! Participating in tournaments with the canoe polo team are also definitely a highlight: especially winning a silver medal at one of our tournaments!

How has your time at Southampton helped you to grow as a person?
I have developed a lot as a person during my time at Southampton: I have grown massively in confidence as well as getting a lot better at my languages: especially in Chinese where I came to Southampton knowing nothing about the language really!

What are you enjoying most about your course?
I really love the variety in language classes: it’s not always the same thing, and you get a variety of modules to choose from aside from languages too.

Do you have the opportunity to study modules outside of your core subject area?
When I was in first year I took an interdisciplinary module called ‘Understanding Modern China’, it was a great opportunity to work with students from different year groups and faculties and gain different perspectives on the issues we were handling, as well as enhancing my Chinese Language studies through a deeper understanding of Chinese culture and society.

Did you stay in University accommodation?
In my first year I stayed in Highfield Halls and I really loved my time there. It was so easy to make friends and I settled in really quickly. I enjoyed that I didn’t really have to worry about what to eat and cooking in my first year when I was still adjusting to living away from home, as that was mostly taken care of for me!

What is the city of Southampton like to live in?
I enjoy my life in Southampton: obviously most of it is centred around the university, but there is still time to get out and explore the city. I like the diverse nightlife and shopping facilities: Southampton is not short of shops and leisure activities, especially with the opening of the new section of West Quay!

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