Naomi Gilad

Comparative Literature

The variety on my course has made me adaptable and I think I’ve gained a lot of transferable skills, so I feel I have lots of options.

Why did you choose to come to Kent?

I was really keen to go to a university that got good scores for student satisfaction in the league tables and Kent was on my shortlist. When I visited, I met some incredible lecturers, there were really interesting topics I wanted to study, and when I saw the view over Canterbury that finally sold it! I visited other universities but none stuck in my mind as much as Kent. I think it was the atmosphere and the attitude towards learning that people have here.

Was it easy to settle in?

It was terrifying at first! After my mum dropped me off I just sat in my room and went to bed very early to get the day over! But my new housemates were great. I was in a house in Park Wood. It felt homely, living with a group of first-year students who were all in the same situation as me, and it made settling in much easier.

How is your course going?

I love my course. It’s so diverse. I could have picked modules around one theme, such as gender, but I went for a more holistic approach because it gave me more opportunities to find out what I wanted to study; it turns out that I like studying cultures. The texts we study open your eyes to different worlds and different cultures. Throughout history you’ve had things that shape society and to see that come out in the literature is fascinating. I also love the fact that after the first year most of the teaching is in seminars rather than through lectures. It’s an approach that has suited me very well.

Have you got any favourite modules?

Yes, the science fiction module, easily. And the one on vampires (yes, we did have to study Twilight!). I’m doing the module on Don Juan this year, and the lecturer is great. I also really enjoyed The Text, which is a compulsory module in the second year. In my seminar group there was a really good dynamic between me, my friend and the lecturer and it helped us to come up with lots of ideas. I love the fact that in our School we can choose ‘wild’ modules – I learned Japanese in my first two years, and now I’m doing Mandarin. I did some Psychology modules too.

Are your lecturers supportive?

Definitely! A lot of them go above and beyond for their students. They’re very passionate about what they do and the more passionate they are, the more they want you to be passionate about it too, so they’ll find a way to make you interested.

What about the social life at Kent?

I do a lot of sports. I’ve tried Aikido and mixed martial arts. I’ve also started rowing. I’ve done pole fitness, and classes at the gym, like yoga and Zumba. There are different classes of membership so you can choose the option that suits you best.

What do you think you gained from spending a year abroad?

So much! I went to Hong Kong and my course convenor was really supportive. The teaching was the equivalent of being at Kent. After the first few weeks I joined a dragon boat team. That shaped my whole experience. We took part in races abroad and I got to see some incredible places – we went to the Philippines, mainland China and South Korea. I really got to immerse myself in the culture through my local friends. It was honestly one of the best years I’ve had to date.

What do you want to do after graduation?

The variety on my course has made me adaptable and I think I’ve gained a lot of transferable skills, so I feel I have lots of options. I’m taking a wild module on writing in the media this year, and I think I’d like to go into editorial and publishing. I’m hoping to do an internship.

Any advice for potential students?

Kent gives you a lot of opportunities – make the effort to find out what’s available for you. And if you’re not satisfied with what’s on offer, see if there’s a way to change it. The lecturers are approachable, so make the most of it.