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What it's like to study a Modern Languages Degree in the UK- Cristina Popa

Published on 11 November 2020 at 13:03

Learning a language can be a strenuous activity, whether it is the grammar, the alphabet or the vocabulary, you have to dedicate time to your studies.


I have asked the newest member of my team what it's like to study a Modern Languages Degree in the UK?



What is your name and your educational background?

My name is Cristina Popa, and I am currently studying part-time for a BA in modern languages (Spanish and French) at Birkbeck University London. Studying part-time enables me to have a full-time job as the classes are in the evening. I just started year 3, the course takes 4 years, so I have 2 years left. And then another 1 or 2 years for the masters in translations, depending on whether I’ll do it full-time or part-time.

I enjoy the undergraduate degree, I love the course, I love languages. And knowing that the course will help me get to where I want to be, which is a translator, is a plus. I think this is why I enjoy it so much.


What do you think about this degree? Do  you like it?

All the modules in my undergraduate degree are very well structured, the professors are very helpful, they provide a lot of information and guidance.


What did you like the least from the degree, and why?

I lack confidence. So, when I started the course in 2018, I was scared of the language courses as we had to speak in front of and with people. I was terrified of making mistakes, of what other people might think. I mean, I learnt Spanish on my own, watching telenovelas and listening to music, and my French, even though I studied it in school, it was rusty as I didn’t have anyone to practice with. But I found out I wasn’t the only one thinking this way and that making mistakes is good, that’s how you learn and improve.



I know that you have started working as a freelance translator before finishing your degree, is that possible? How did you do that?

I’ve started looking for volunteer opportunities as a translator, I am also translating articles, from Spanish into English, for an online newspaper, I have worked with you on a few projects. And I take on board any feedback received. It’s how I learn, how I improve.

Blogs are very important, and they have helped me. This is how I found out about websites where I can volunteer as a translator (you get feedback from professional translators and add this to your CV) or start working with a translator. It will help me gain experience, build relationships with other translators and possible clients, practice, improve, learn, and become more confident. And it is a great way to get exposure, promote you and your business.



Learning a language is very rewarding as there is a higher chance of being successful and you could speak to more people when travelling. Not to mention, learning a foreign language enhances listening skills and memory.




If you would like to discuss potential projects, or you want to study modern languages in UK you can email Cristina at cristinapopa83@hotmail.co.uk or connect on LinkedIn.




Nassima and Cristina.





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