Beth McIntyre

German - BA (Hons)

I chose Kent because it was definitely the best campus I looked at.

Why did you choose to study languages at Kent?

I’ve always wanted to travel and work abroad. I’d been learning both German and French since Year 7 at school and I loved them both so that’s why I decided to study joint honours. I chose Kent because it was definitely the best campus I looked at, the lecturers were really welcoming and knowledgeable at the open day and the modules looked really interesting too.

How is your course going?

The German course is quite literature-based and I didn’t think I’d enjoy that as much as I do, because language is what interests me. But the modules are really engaging. Last term I did a module on German short stories and enjoyed learning about different authors and the different techniques they use. We had to do a commentary, which is a detailed reading of the text, where you focus on the specific language the author uses to convey their meaning. This term I’ve started a module on German Expressionism so we’ll be studying work produced over a short period of time instead of a long one. In the first year I was able to choose elective modules and I took one on East Asian traditions. I enjoyed studying a subject outside of languages.

How easy it is to manage your work on a joint honours course?

It’s fine – I’ve been learning the two languages alongside each other for nine years, so I’m used to it. If I spend three hours on French grammar practice, I make sure I spend three hours practising German grammar too.

What do you think of your lecturers?

It’s a small department so you know you are going to be taught by all of them, and they are all great. My academic adviser also teaches me for German language, which is helpful because it means he knows me and my work really well. We don’t have lectures as such. The lecturer talks for maybe half an hour, then he gives us questions to discuss in small groups and feed back, then he builds on those ideas with us. It’s more engaging being taught this way.

What are your plans for your year abroad?

As I’m doing joint honours, I’m going to split the year between studying at a French university and working as a British Council language assistant in Austria. I’ve never been to Austria and I’m interested to learn about the German spoken outside Germany.

How do you spend your spare time?

I’m head of music for the radio station on campus, Community Student Radio. We have a proper studio in the Student Media Centre. I’m really into music; I love finding music that no one’s heard of yet. When I joined, the idea of being on air terrified me, so I learned how to produce the shows, writing the scripts and getting the songs together. As time’s gone on, I’ve got more confident about going on air and now I’d like to present my own show. A lot of people from the local community work at the radio station, too, and I really like that.

Have you got plans yet for after you graduate?

I’d like to work in education – not necessarily teaching. Radio is another possibility. I’m quite obsessed with collecting points for the Employability Points scheme [see p12] because I’d like to earn enough to do an internship shadowing a civil servant. There are loads of different ways to collect points – I’ve got them for being a committee member, doing a show, and I’m also a Rainbow and Brownie leader here in Canterbury!

Any advice for someone thinking of coming to Kent?

Put yourself out there. It’s tempting to just meet a few people and stick with them, but you change a lot while you’re at university. You really need to join societies, try something new – like the radio!