Reflecting upon my years at the University of Stirling fills me with great pride, happiness, and nostalgia. It was at that time that I began maturing as a person as well as a professional. I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree with Honours in Spanish and French, and I had no idea at that point that my university experience would lead me to working full-time as an ESL teacher at one of Canada’s largest private schools in Ottawa, Canada. After having lived and taught English in Spain for two years before coming to Canada I was able to continue my Spanish studies at the University of Ottawa with a Spanish MA degree in linguistics. Since Ottawa is a bilingual city where both English and French are used I am to practice and maintain both languages that I learnt in my BA.
The Spanish and French language programmes, offered by the Arts department at the University of Stirling, equipped me with the linguistic knowledge and cultural exposure that were crucial to have in order to fully learn a new language, as well as preparing me to get by and live in a new country. They also presented great language exchange opportunities for students to travel to their country of interest as part of their degree. The exchange itself formed part of the many modules of the combined language degrees in which six months of studying in one of the countries and one year of teaching in the other were mandatory. As I was studying both French and Spanish, I decided to spend one year teaching in Lille, France, and the following year studying in Malaga, Spain for one semester. In addition to the opportunity to travel to and live in a different country, the language programmes provided a variety of courses with specialisations in literature, linguistics, translation, interpreting and culture. I am very fortunate having had the opportunity to be taught by such excellent and profoundly competent team of professors, who were always supportive, dedicated and always willing to share their knowledge and experience with their students.
The University campus itself provides an ideal place to study with its breathtaking peaceful nature and great sports facilities. The proximity to the city centre makes it easy to find entertainment for anyone including historical sightseeing, leisurely strolls in the lush greenery, great variety of shopping, stellar pubs, restaurants and great night life.