More about Francis
"My interest in China had been piqued by the time I spent teaching there. I also have a deep-seated interest in how languages work and the joint honours degree allowed me to combine these areas of interest. I was also very excited by the opportunity to study in China as part of my degree.
"The standards and expectations at NTU have always been very clear and support is always readily available from within the department and across the University. There are always office hours available where I can talk to my lecturers and get specific help and advice and all University staff are very quick to respond to emails, despite their busy schedules.
"Since starting the course I have learnt to work better independently and be more organised and manage my time better.
"The course is laid-out very well and is taught by excellent, dedicated and enthusiastic staff. The linguistic side of the course covers a broad range of subfields, with an overview of these given in first year, before choosing modules in the second and third year that are clearly mapped towards career pathways.
"While Mandarin Chinese offers a great alternative to mainstream language courses including both language and culture modules. The optional year abroad also provides an excellent opportunity to hone your language skills.
"I also really like the fact that there are ample opportunities to increase employability and gain work experience through societies and schemes. I am currently working as a Student Mentor and as a Student in Classrooms Mentor, while also studying beginners Spanish with the University Language Programme (ULP).
"This September I will be spending a year abroad as part of my course. This will hopefully push me towards full fluency when I complete my degree in 2018.
"Once I graduate I plan to return to teaching English as a foreign language. However, the flexibility of my joint honours degree, in particular the malleability of linguistics, allows me to reconsider this in the future."