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Modern Languages - Student Profile

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Vanessa, 2nd year

'I was drawn to Oxford by the wealth of world-class resources and the prospect of being taught by tutors who are some of the best in the world. It’s immensely fulfilling to discuss opinions and analyses with tutors who are experts in their field. In particular I have found that the inspiring teaching has deepened my interest in French and German literature and I have enjoyed studying a broad range of authors and playwrights and their innovative work.

I found the Modern Languages course at Oxford especially appealing because it’s so flexible, with lots of language and literature topics to choose from. This flexibility has allowed me to pursue and explore my own interests, such as the theme of politics in literature and the works of Goethe and Zola.

I found that there was a sizeable step between A-level work and university assignments because you are encouraged to express and develop your own thoughts and ideas much more at degree-level. The freedom over your own time is also a stark contrast to the routine of school life, as there is a bigger emphasis on independent study here, and you have to be self-motivated to manage your time.

I am a member of the Oxford University Salsa Society and am also Junior Common Room (JCR) Academic Affairs Officer for my college. I am also involved in musical and sporting activities and attend numerous events held by many different societies. Oxford will certainly help you to flourish academically, but it will also enable you to shape yourself as a person.'


Catherine, who graduated in 2004, is now Founder and Programmes Manager at the Refugee Support Network. She says:   

‘Since graduating from Oxford, I have worked in the field of refugee education and education in emergencies for various charities, including Save the Children and various United Nations agencies. The skills I gained at Oxford have helped me to analyse situations thoughtfully and critically, and gave me the confidence to establish the Refugee Support Network in 2009. I never thought I would use my language skills in situations as diverse as Sudanese refugee camps, with Haitian earthquake survivors and with young victims of trafficking in London.’


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