I chose to study at Aston University as it has a great reputation for languages. The lectures are taught in small groups and the lecturers are particularly knowledgeable about not only their subject area, but about the school as a whole. There is a great sense of community at Aston, not to mention the fantastic, central location that Aston offers, situated right in the heart of a diverse city like Birmingham.
One of the best things about Aston is how approachable the staff are. I can't think of one lecturer who I wouldn't want to ask if I had any concerns or questions and I know exactly who to turn to, for every need I may have as a student here. Aston is in constant touch with its students, ensuring that we are kept up-to-date with recent news and events happening around the university and this only strengthens the community spirit felt within.
I am currently on 6 month placement in Berlin, working for a translation and interpretation company right in the heart of the city. I work as part of a brilliant team in a very well-established company, whilst having plenty of time to meet with friends and improve my language skills further. I found the Aston University Placements Team a huge support throughout the planning and application process and know that they are always available by email or phone, should I have any questions.
I will also spend 6 months in France and look forward to experiencing the French university system! In my opinion, the placement year should be encouraged within all schools, not just the school of languages, as it provides you with the chance to gain invaluable experience in the world of work, or simply experience a culture totally different to your own. You also have the opportunity to do much more than just gain work experience, including volunteering in remote locations and teaching too.
Birmingham is a central city, where many employers and large international companies search for graduates and many of them come directly to Aston. The city is the cultural heart of England and there is always something going on. It is also a very cheap place to live, and has a variety of different cuisines at your fingertips and a huge choice of goods, thanks to the large Birmingham Covered Market.