Nadine Hoch- BA French for International Business
Hello fellow international students, my name is Nadine and I was born and raised in Germany. I grew up in a small town near the Polish border in Eastern Germany where there were few to no individuals from different cultural backgrounds. I attended school until I was 18 years old and time came that I had to decide on what to do after my Abitur (A-Levels).
May I say, it is a common thing for German adolescents to take a gap year in between school and university so I chose to improve my English, similar to other peoples’ plans. I became an au pair in Blackpool for a lovely Indian family and it was fantastic. Not only did I learn English and about the British culture but also broadened my horizon by emerging myself into the Indian culture, cooking and beliefs.
Then I needed to choose a career path and due to my aptitude in languages, I thought: Why not take up French again (which I had for 7 years at school)? So I went to look at a few universities and I also wanted to learn a bit more about business. This is when I found the BA in French for International Business, killing two birds with one stone. I also felt it would be a good idea to stay close to my host family.
Before coming to the UK, I was scared. A new country with a new family and a year-long commitment. Had the German school system prepared me for English conversation? It turned out just fine and even if you’re struggling, there are plenty of free English classes available at UCLan, which I did, and it helped.
Als ich in Preston angekommen bin, zog ich in das “Whitendale” Studentenheim und traf auf Studenten aus aller Welt. Noch am selben Tag haben wir uns mit den neuen Ankömmlingen der Universität zu einem gratis Grillen getroffen. Am darauffolgenden Tag, fing auch schon der Unterricht an und ich lernte meine Mitstudenten kennen. Vergiss nicht, dass ihr alle im selben Boot steckt und die Uni alles mögliche macht damit ihr euch wohlfühlt.
Something that I really appreciated were the societies available: there is just something for everyone. It ranges from Anime, Harry Potter, Quidditch to Business, Crafting and so on. And even if you prefer sports, you can join any sports team: equestrian, archery, table tennis and so on.
The best part of my degree was that I had the opportunity to meet and make friends with people from all over the world, as well as moving to a different country, in my case France where I experienced a different style of learning to what I was used to at UCLan. I’ve gained so many new friendships and skills through internships which I carried out at the university (I worked at Careers) or abroad. At the same time, I participated in the International Exchange Student society and became a member of the committee where I organised events and trips with the society.
After university, I started working in a hotel in North Yorkshire as Front-of-House Staff because I hadn’t looked for jobs that are related to my degree and abilities. So I would advise you to start looking for opportunities in large companies where you can expand your knowledge and skills well before you finish your course work.
In terms of university life there is just one thing to know: this will be the best 3 years or more of your life so be yourself and participate in as many activities as you can to gain a broad range of skills. However, study hard to acquire the grades you want.