My student experience

By Laura Toninelli

I decided to study TESOL and Translation Studies because I have always been passionate about teaching as well as translating, and I could not see myself doing anything else. I chose Aston University because it is one of the best universities in the UK and has a high employability and student satisfaction rate.

In addition, I liked the fact that Aston University is located in the vibrant city of Birmingham, which has good connections to the rest of the country but also important cultural landmarks at its doorstep, for example Shakespeare's birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon is just 40 minutes away by train.

Laura Toninelli TESOL and Translation Aston University
Laura Toninelli TESOL and Translation Shakespeare statue

About my course

I really like the way the MA TESOL and Translation Studies course has been organised, in particular the good balance between theory and practice which the modules offer.

For instance, there are TESOL modules where students can practice their teaching as well as gain some experience. This is useful to get an insight into what being a teacher entails and to better understand the classroom dynamics. I think this is a key aspect which can enhance students' employability and it is one of the reasons why I chose this course.

As for the translation-related modules, there are practical projects which students carry out as part of the curriculum which give them a first-hand experience of how the translation industry is structured.

Moreover, this course has helped me develop and improve my soft skills, such as teamwork, organisational and interpersonal skills to name a few, which can then be applied to the workplace. I believe this is an important point as it can make students stand out and succeed in the current highly competitive job market.

Why Aston University?

Aston University has gained several awards making it one of the top universities in the UK. It offers high teaching standards as well as great facilities like a well-refurbished library where students can find not only the critical resources which make learning possible, but also a quiet place to study.

Staff are very supportive and always ready to help students or point them in the right direction. I feel this is an aspect which is sometimes taken from granted, yet it is crucial to have a smooth and pleasant university experience where students can get prompt support if they need it.

Aston University can also be proud of the several clubs and societies which play an important role in students' lives as they are a place where people can socialise as well as pursue their interests. They have it all: from language societies to sport and debating – you just need to pick your favourite!

There is also the advantage of being in Birmingham, a cosmopolitan city in the heart of the UK. I made friends from all over the world, unforgettable experiences which will last a lifetime and great memories. No matter your interests, there is always something to do in Birmingham.

If I were to sum up my experience at Aston in three words, they would be unique, exciting and fulfilling.

Aston University campus geese near fountain
Laura Toninelli TESOL and Translation Aston University

My tips for those considering Aston University

  1. Don't be afraid to leave your comfort zone (you won't regret it!)
  2. Don't hesitate to reach out for support if you ever need it.

Staff at Aston University are very friendly and supportive, and they always do their best to assist students. I think it is important that students keep these points in mind to make the most of their time at Aston University and in Birmingham, and have an amazing experience.

I could not recommend Aston University more!