Catherine Talbot, from Plymouth, Devon is in her third year studying BA French/German at Bangor University.
How did you hear about Bangor and why did you choose to study here?
I’d never heard of little Bangor before I received a leaflet in the post. I thought “where?” I went to the Open Day, travelling through the mountains on the way there, which was a first plus! Then when I was at the Open Day everyone was so informal and relaxed and happy, and as a “country lass” I loved that there was the Snowdonia national park nearby. It was instantly my first choice.
Have you been on any placements or taken a year abroad?
I’m presently in Belgium on my second semester of being abroad! Last semester I was in Passau, Bavaria, which was amazing. I didn’t think there would be so many cultural differences between Britain and Germany. I’d highly recommend to anyone to go visit a local beer festival, because it was brilliant. A room full of Bavarians in Dirndls and Lederhosen dancing on tables drinking massive amounts of beer to 99 Luftballons… Who couldn’t enjoy that?!
Tell us about your course - what's the best thing about it?
Well, obviously the best thing for any language student is the year abroad! But in Bangor I love how informal all the lectures are, and because we’re a pretty small department you’ll get to know everyone in time, even if you’re never in the same classes.
What’s been the highlight of the course for you so far?
I’ve really enjoyed how flexible the course has been. I’ve taken modules in Japanese and Dutch which were both wonderful. I also took German literature and Music and words - for something different! Also, we’re on the top floor so we have the best views!
What's the best thing about living in Bangor?
Well Bangor’s just about small enough that you can’t possibly go out during the day without seeing someone you know. Especially living in student accommodation on Ffridd site in the first year, it was great, like having a student village… and everything’s only ten minutes away. Plus we have the student shop that’s open 24/7, so you ever run out of milk/toilet roll/alcohol at 2 in the morning, you’re saved!
Tell us about any clubs and societies you’re involved with and what it involves.
The best thing about Bangor’s clubs is the Fair we have in Fresher’s week. I remember when I was a fresher my friend and I went around signing up for loads of things! I tried canoe polo (and I really sucked at it!) and now I’ve had that experience. I was also in the dramatics society last year and performed in the Lord of the Flies. Acting was something I’d never tried before and it was surprisingly great fun, especially watching as everything came together. I also regularly went out with Greener Gwynedd, going on weekends out to do some gardening and a massive litter pick up in Snowdon, which was great. For those without a car it’s a great way to see the surrounding natural areas whilst meeting some lovely people.
What will you miss most about Bangor when you leave?
Picnics at Roman Camp! All the pretty views, and of course all the friends I’ve made whilst I’ve been here. We’ve all tried to visit one another whilst we’ve been abroad, and I know that friends who’ll travel across countries to see you are absolute keepers.
What are your plans for the future?
After Uni I’m hoping to teach English as a foreign language in Japan. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and I’m looking forward to the culture shocks! Bring on the sushi!