Chenay McKnight

My name is Chenay and I am a final year student studying German and Spanish.

When choosing universities, Aberystwyth was my number one choice. I first decided to visit the town after reading the course description: it was one of the few courses in the country that offered me exactly what I was looking for, with the added bonus of it being one of the most beautiful towns I had ever visited. The language courses offer a wide variety of learning not only about language but culture too. During my studies I have been able to further my interest in many areas, the most notable being in foreign film. I always enjoyed watching and discussing films in my A levels so being able to do this as a part of my degree has made my time studying really enjoyable, as well as being able to study foreign literature. This variety of learning was what stood out to me when choosing Aberystwyth and is what has kept me motivated throughout my course. I visited many universities when I applied, but the friendliness of the staff at Aberystwyth was a huge part of my decision to come here. It felt like people had all the time in the world for me.

I chose to work for the British Council for my year abroad. I lived in a small town on the Usedom Island in the north-east of Germany and worked as a language assistant. Working as a language assistant gave me the opportunity to work with secondary students and assist English learning. I also led my own beginners’ Spanish course, which gave me the chance to try my hand at teaching, which has always been my career goal. Being placed in such a small location with so few people was quite a shock at first, but it was little more than a few days before all of my neighbours and colleagues took me under their wing. I had so many opportunities to travel and see parts of Germany I’d dreamed about visiting for many years.

I’m currently applying to study a PGCE and hope to go on to become a modern foreign languages teacher in secondary education. My time at Aberystwyth University has given me lots of opportunities to experience working in a classroom, the first being during my year abroad and the second while being a student mentor at local schools, working with year 8 and 9 students in order to encourage language learning in the hope of increasing the number of pupils studying foreign languages at school. I’m very excited to move onto the next step in my career and will always thank Aberystwyth University for helping me achieve my goals.