A week in the life of a Linguistics student

Studying at the University of York was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Here’s why I chose it…

Learning a new language

One of the main advantages of being part of the Department of Language and Linguistic Science is the opportunity to start a language course as part of one’s degree. Learning Arabic was always a big goal of mine and the department helped me achieve this goal and I am now studying Arabic at Level 2. For everyone who always wanted to learn a new language, there are many language classes such as French, Russian, Dutch, Japanese and Latin. You’ll not only learn a new language but also engage in a new culture.

Studying abroad

Another big advantage is that the department gives students the chance to do a year abroad. If you decide to do so, there many different countries you can choose from. After living in five different countries in the past years, I can assure you that going abroad is a great experience and the best way to learn more about different cultures. Spending some time abroad is a great opportunity you should not miss.

My week

A look at my weekly timetable

A great part of being a Linguistics student is that the timetable is structured to give you enough time each day to prepare for upcoming seminars or lectures.


My week usually starts on a Tuesday and is the busiest day of my week. Two one-hour lectures and my two-hour Arabic seminar appear on my timetable.

My first lecture is Pragmatics and we are currently talking about a pragmatic theory which explains how to analyse conversational utterances and the ambiguities that could arise when speaking to each other.

My second lecture of the day is Language Acquisition. Even though this module needs a lot of preparation for seminars and has a lot of content, it is very interesting. You get the opportunity to learn more about different aspects of acquiring a language, such as how everyone, no matter whether they are normal hearing or deaf, learn their first or second language.

My Arabic language class is from 6-8pm. Even though the timing is quite late, I really enjoy going to my classes. We usually start off with learning new grammatical content. After an hour of studying, we usually sit back for 15 minutes and talk about a cultural topic related to the cultures of the Arabic-speaking world. It is great to not only learn about the language itself but also about the cultures of the many millions of people who speak it.


I usually don’t have classes on a Wednesday. However, I try to use this day to catch up on readings, prepare for upcoming seminars or meet up for coffee with friends from my course or my housemates.

My housemates and I have been living together since first year and we get on really well. We share a lot in common: sports, music, food… So it’s always great fun spending time with them.


My second seminar of the week is Pragmatics. As preparation for this seminar, we had to answer some questions about what we have learned in the lecture and are discussing these and other questions that arise. The seminars are very helpful if the content is still unclear.


My Friday starts at 11am with my Language Acquisition seminar. We had to read an article about sign language acquisition and answer related questions as preparation for the seminar. We then discussed the answers and other things related to the present topic.

After the seminar, I have a two hour break before my one and a half hour Language Acquisition lecture. We are talking about the acquisition of a second language which is a topic most interesting for me as I am not a native English speaker.

Sunrise during my morning run

I am really happy to be part of the Department of Language and Linguistic Science as help can be found whenever needed. All lecturers and seminar tutors are supportive and you can always talk to someone if something is bothering you.

Before coming to York, I was worried about struggling with studying. However, these worries disappeared shortly after I started. I learned that doing readings, preparing for seminars and going to lectures is already most of what needs to be done. And preparing for exams will be much easier if you put in the effort during the year.

The content is taught in an interesting and motivating way. I had never been a big fan of studying but now, I really enjoy sitting down and doing my coursework.

I am so happy to be part of the Department of Language and Linguistic Science of the University of York and I am sure you will be too!

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Hi, my name is Lena and I am a 2nd Year Linguistics student from Austria. Studying at the University of York is much more than going to lectures or seminars. It involves making new friendships that will last a lifetime, trying new sports or joining societies you didn't even imagine could exist.