There are so many things to look forward to but I’m going to try and whittle it down to just three. Wish me luck!
The beauty of linguistics is that it is so varied. There are so many aspects to the course which means it’s very easy to find something that interests you. The structure of the course allows you to choose what path you would like to go down and explore in more detail. Depending on how your brain works, what enthuses you and how best you work, whether that’s essays or exams, there is plenty of choice in regard to what modules you would like to take.
You can stick to within the department and go down the sociolinguistics route, syntax and semantics route or mix it up with both (like I did!) For me, there was almost too much choice because it all sounded interesting to me.
You can take a Languages for All module and study a language as part of your degree as well. This programme gives you the opportunity to expand your skills in a language you already know, pick up an old language you used to study in high school such as German or Spanish, or even try something completely new, like Japanese or Arabic! I continued my A level French in first year and then took up Spanish in my second year, and it was lovely to do something a bit different.
If Linguistics doesn’t offer something to your taste, or you just fancy trying something else, there’s even the choice to take an elective module in a completely different department. Options upon options!!
The department gives you many opportunities, should you choose to take them on.
The obvious one that springs to mind is the opportunity of a year abroad or a placement year. This means you would study at a different university or take time out to work with a company for a whole year and gain valuable experience and explore a completely new city, or country! If a whole year seems a bit daunting, you can go to an International Study Centre for a few weeks and explore a new culture that way.
There are many opportunities here in York as well.
You can get involved in volunteering, with the Linguistics Society, which involves running events for other students, or with an external company that works with people who need speech and language therapy-based support, for example. I have ended up as the President of LingSoc and it was a great way to develop my organisation, event planning and budget management skills. Here is a picture from February 2019’s International Mother Language Day event run in collaboration with the Bangladeshi Society.
The department also offers volunteering opportunities with school-aged children and you can lead linguistics themed activities in their outreach programme and they also give you the opportunity to go back to your old school and tell them all about how much fun you’re having at York. I went to a local primary school and assisted with running a linguistics challenge programme which the kids loved, and even I learnt something new!
Meeting New People
Lastly, another thing to look forward to is meeting new people. The joy of linguistics is that it is a global phenomenon and you will have the opportunity to meet people from all over the country and even all over the world. Some of my course friends come from different countries and have come to York to study. Without linguistics, I would never have met them! The department also boasts a wide range of lecturers who come from all over and so it’s not just the students who will expand your horizons, but the staff as well! Don’t be scared to talk to them and ask for help if you need it!
Thanks for reading my blog and I hope you have the best time here at York!