Ruth Fletcher



United Kingdom
The French aspect of my degree has helped me realise my potential as a global and European citizen. Having spent my third year abroad living and working in France, my confidence in myself and my abilities have grown in ways I wouldn’t have been able to achieve otherwise

More about Ruth

“I chose NTU because of the Media course’s high reputation, and also because I liked all the staff from French and Media whom I met on the open day. The course outline really appealed to me and the university had all the resources I’d need and up-to-date technology.

“The staff at NTU are friendly, approachable, helpful and very supportive and I don’t think you can find that in all universities. The course is intellectually stimulating, interesting, and it has helped me understand aspects of the world of work for media, as well as aspects of French culture and society.

“For French, we have access to the language and resource centres where you can find computers, DVDs, and other resources to help you with language learning. It is also a great place to meet other language students.

“The Global Lounge is also great for language students as there you can meet other students from all over the world. Also, the Global Lounge organises the tandem partner scheme, which I took part in my second and fourth year, I was linked up with a French native Erasmus student and we met up once a week in town for language exchange. I think this was a great opportunity for me to make new French friends, learn more about France, and of course improve my French in an informal setting with a young student in the same situation as me.

“For Media, we have access to a top of the range mac suite with all the programs you need for editing. As a media student, you also have access to filming and photography equipment. The Students Union also has some great opportunities for media students. There are societies like film society and there’s also FLY FM, the students radio station, Platform, the student’s magazine, and Trent TV, the student’s TV Station.

“In media I have really enjoyed the ‘Understanding Media and Culture’ and ‘Theorising Media and Culture’ modules. They cover many topics such as Representation, Ideology, Identity: class, gender, sexuality, race, Globalisation, Advertising, Regulation, Consumption, Media Waste, Fan culture, and the Press. I have also been able to take part in some practical filming modules which involved group work for small projects.

“In my second year I also undertook the ‘Humanities at work’ placement module. The main aspect of this module was my volunteer work at a small social enterprise, which created a monthly magazine for the local community. I was really interested in working at a magazine firm, although the only position the firm could offer me was a fundraiser role I was able to learn a lot about how the company operates.

“In French there is a French Core module each year which includes grammar lessons and conversation classes. Before I came to university I found French grammar really confusing and because of that I found it difficult to formulate my own sentences correctly. However, since starting NTU my grammar has improved a lot as the teachers here are really good at explaining things. The weekly class with the Language Assistant are also a great opportunity to practice oral French in small groups with a young French native.

“I’ve also learnt a lot about the shaping of modern France.  The ‘French Politics Society and Culture’ module covers mostly the creation of each Republic, and I learnt more about each President’s contribution to France. While the ‘Film, Novel, and Social Transformation’ module looks at the ways in which films and literature changed as France became modernised. This has really helped me to understand the complicated relationship between France and ‘American modernisation’.

“The French aspect of my degree has helped me realise my potential as a global and European citizen. Having spent my third year abroad living and working in France, my confidence in myself and my abilities have grown in ways I wouldn’t have been able to achieve otherwise.

“Firstly, I lived in France and worked in a secondary and sixth form school. Adapting to life in a foreign country with a different language, culture, and cuisine was quite challenging. However, I made the most of it and I really enjoyed myself. In the summer I also lived and worked in a small holiday village in the centre of France in the countryside. For me that was really challenging because I wasn’t living in a French city like before and I was truly immersed among French people; I spoke a lot of French and often went days without speaking English at all. Because of this experience I feel happy and confident to live and work abroad in the future, and perhaps teach English in other countries abroad too. Personally, I don’t believe I’d ever feel ready to even consider that if it weren’t for my third year abroad.

“Student life has also been an important part of my university experience. The student’s union has a lot to offer, like societies, sports club, social activities and nights out.  In my first year I joined the knitting society, I couldn’t knit at all but I thought it would be fun to learn. We met up every week to have a drink, and to knit.

“I also like to keep fit and healthy and I felt like trying something new, so in my first year I joined the University’s Jiu Jitsu club. I feel being in the club has been one of the most important aspects of my time at NTU. I’d never done a martial art before and I learned that at least for this one, it isn’t really about fighting, but about self-defence, discipline, and respect for others. My confidence grew a lot through doing sport, especially one like this, and it was also a great opportunity to make new friends and integrate more into university life. In my second year I was elected the club’s Vice President, and in my final year, its President.  In these roles I planned and participated in events for the club such as the fresher fairs, regional and national training events, and club social events. It’s also a great thing I can put on my CV and talk about in interviews.

“In my final year I took part in the ‘Students in Classroom’ scheme as a Student Associate. This has probably been the most rewarding project I have been involved in outside of my studies. I worked as a teaching assistant in the French department of a local school where I practiced oral French with students, worked in the classroom supporting learning with classes and individual students. I really enjoyed this experience and I am thankful I was able to participate in it through NTU.

“I think French and Media is a fantastic degree. Personally, one reason I chose this course was because I wasn’t sure which career I’d like to pursue. Language graduates are highly employable and the media course is also very broad, so it could lead you into a variety of media-related careers or a more specific masters course. Moreover, at the end of your degree, I think the skills you learn can be applied to many graduate jobs outside of ‘French’ and ‘Media’.

“Having worked in a French school as an English Language Assistant and as a teaching assistant in French classes in a school in Nottingham, I now know I want to pursue a career in education. At the moment I’m still not entirely sure which direction I’d like to take, because I feel open to working abroad. For now I’m going to work in a French university for at least one year as an English teacher/assistant.”

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