Alice Cripps

Italian BA

Kent is a very international university... so you discover a lot about the world, and about yourself.

Why did you choose Kent?

I knew a lot of people who had been to Kent and they said great things about it. Also the grades Kent asked for were realistic for me and it wasn’t too far from where I live.

Originally, I was studying Biomedical Science but it just wasn’t for me so I switched to Italian. I am part Italian so love the culture and had enjoyed studying languages, including Italian, at GCSE so when I found out I could stay at Kent and study Italian as a ‘beginner’, I was delighted.

How is the course going?

I love going to class; I feel refreshed and I am determined to do well. I think I appreciate it more and work harder because I know how it feels when you don’t enjoy your degree. I have immersed myself in Italian, listening to the radio, watching Italian films and TV. I even changed my phone to Italian.

Do you have a favourite module?

I took a module that looked at feminism in Italy and how women are treated there. The lecturer was passionate about the subject and that caught my imagination; it changed the way I see gender in the world. I found it fascinating.

The degree allows you to take wild modules and I’ve taken advantage of that. I took Latin in my first year, which was very hard but taught me a lot about how to learn languages. This year, I am taking a module about teaching English as a foreign language, which is very interesting.

What about the lecturers?

The department is small and the lecturers know us well. They are passionate about what they do and do everything they can to make their teaching interesting and relatable. They provide us with lots of information including a really good reading list and software to help with learning Italian. Also, the Italian section in the library is very good.

And your fellow students?

I have made good friends on the course. There is quite a mix of people but we all work well together and learn from each other. In language classes I think we push each other to be better, it is always interesting to see the different ways people approach translation. With languages you never stop learning.

Kent is a very international university. You are surrounded by people from different cultures and countries so you discover a lot about the world, and about yourself.

What about the social life?

I am a member of Kent Dance. I dance and have also done some choreography. We rehearse in our own time and compete against other universities, it’s hard work but I love it and have met my best friends through it. I am a member of the committee and have organised trips, led groups and taught people. I think these experiences have also helped to improve my academic presentations.

Where are you going for your year abroad?

I am going to Parma. I visited it in September and am in love with it already! I am lucky because one of my close friends is also going there so we are staying together. I’m very excited about going and am looking forward to studying there. Of course it’s scary too but everyone says that their year abroad was the best year of their life, so I can’t wait.

What do you want to do after graduation?

I would like to have a job that offers the opportunity to travel and allows me to use my Italian. Languages are useful in so many areas – working for Prada or Ferrari would be nice! I would also love to become fluent in French and Spanish.

What advice would you give to a prospective student?

First, study a subject you love. Then, get involved with everything, try new things and take advantage of all that’s on offer. It’s good to have an outlet, so don’t stop doing something you love that is extra-curricular – keep it up and make it work. Appreciate all your teachers do for you and speak to them if you need help.

Finally, it will go very fast so make the most of it. Try and think ahead, don’t just think about what is beneficial for you now but also about what will help you when you graduate.