Life on the Italian Studies course at Manchester
Written by Nadya Porokhnya, a 2nd year Italian and Spanish student.
I’m currently a 2nd Year Italian and Spanish student at Manchester and I am honestly very happy with my course and with all Manchester has to offer.
In your first year of study, the aim is to get you used to University. Depending on whether you approach studying a language post A-level or as a beginner, you will get a slightly different timetable tailored to your needs. Your lectures are to do with cultural studies. Students leave these modules with a greater connection to the culture of the languages they’re studying. Regarding language modules, we have speaking and grammar classes with a group of other students. The tutors for these classes are native speakers and it is easy to chat and get to know each other in these classes.
While all cultural modules in Year 1 are mandatory (these modules are taught and assessed in English, unlike language classes), you have optional modules in Year 2. Since you’ll have tried out a range of themes in Year 1 from history to visual art, you’ll know what route most interests you in Year 2. This is also the year to get excited about planning your Year Abroad in your third year of university. For teaching, we have a mix of lectures and seminars. In short, seminars are classes with around 30 students. Your seminar leader will deepen the class’s understanding of the previous lecture using handouts and getting into group conversation. Furthermore, you will be given many extra-readings from academic sources and you will need to do some reading before going into seminar.
Personally, I’ve really enjoyed the Italian Renaissance module as I’m fascinated by Renaissance art and culture. I’ve enjoyed the film module that I did for Spanish. We had to make an essay in the form of a short movie for our end-of-term assessment which was very unique and I found that interesting.
Manchester is a student city, but not just a student city so part-time jobs are completely accessible here to support you along with your student loan. Next, prepare yourself to meet a range of new people so just have fun living in accommodation as it’s a very sociable atmosphere and everyone meets people. I’ve also met a few friends at societies so make sure to take up that opportunity. It can be difficult budgeting and you will be new to being an independent adult so one piece of advice is to not put too much pressure on yourself, as long as you’re doing your best. Make an effort to go to all of your classes as it’s an excellent habit. Be kind to yourself especially in Year 1 as, by Year 2, things such as budgeting, cooking and planning an effective study routine will get easier. Employers are really impressed by bilingual brains and culturally adaptable people so there will be an abundance of industries for you when you leave Manchester University. Get excited for your new chapter!