Au revoir to prizewinning Bangor University languages graduate

The last four years have “gone too quickly” says one Bangor University student graduating this week.Susan TurnbullSusan Turnbull

Susie Turnbull, 22, from Polebrook near Peterborough will be graduating with a BA French and Italian degree. Susie also received the Dr Barbara Saunderson Language Prize which is awarded to a student for their excellent work by the Board of Studies of the School of Modern Languages on the advice of the relevant Examining Board. Dr Saunderson, who endowed the prize in 1997, graduated from Bangor and was a Lecturer in French here from 1964-2004. The prize was first awarded in 1998 and its value is £100.

Susie said: “I come from a small village in Cambridgeshire where I attended the Prince William School in the town of Oundle. There I studied French, Maths and Chemistry for A Level but decided to carry on with languages at university as they were my real interest and passion. At Bangor I picked up Italian from scratch and have loved studying both languages here. The School of Modern Languages have been fantastic and extremely encouraging during all aspects of the course.

“The first time I came to Bangor I was impressed by the community feel of the university, not only within the academic school but also amongst the students. I also love the scenery in north Wales and the beaches on Anglesey. Bangor is a lovely town and the university is a great place to study.

“From my second year onwards I have worked as a Student Language Ambassador at the university which has entailed visiting local schools to encourage pupils to take languages from GCSE and beyond. The job also involved putting on workshops and giving language taster sessions. In my final year I became a ‘Chief Student Language Ambassador’, helping to train Ambassadors in the lower years. I have thoroughly enjoyed this work.

“As part of a language degree you get the opportunity to spend a year abroad in a country where the languages you are studying are spoken. During my year abroad I spent seven months in Rouen, France teaching English in three primary schools and then I moved to Florence, Italy for 2 months, where I worked as a multi-lingual receptionist in a 4* hotel as part of the ECTARC scheme. Both experiences helped me to gain confidence in my languages, have some amazing experiences, travel more in Europe and meet new people.

“I was on the Language Society committee in the role of ‘French representative’. This is a society where students get the chance to come together to watch European films, have food nights for example, French cheese and Italian pasta, European themed nights out, conversation in the pub etc. Helping to organise these events has been very enjoyable and it has been encouraging to see so many people getting together and enjoying languages! I also sang in the University choir.”

Susie will be continuing with her education and will be moving to London to do a Postgraduate course at Goldsmiths University.

Publication date: 12 July 2013