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Leo's blog

There are always a few spare hours in the day.

Languages for all – Opportunities for all

Hello all! Its hard to believe freshers week has just passed and now we are nearly half way though the term already! Lots of exciting things have been happening in Cardiff so far this year. This week we are having ‘mind your head week’ which was a week of activities that are aimed at improving knowledge about mental health issues. This is an issue that affects many students and its good to see the University and student’s union are making every effort to improve understanding of these issues. This has involved a week full of activities such as ‘inner child day’ which involved the union basically being converted into a playground for the day. This is just another example of the sort of thing you can get involved in at University. University really is a melting pot of opportunities which is the thrust of today’s piece! However, the focus of today’s entry is going to be about another fantastic opportunity Cardiff University offers its students.

After spending a summer volunteering in Argentina teaching Welsh in Patagonia one of the the new skills I had to do was learn an emergency Spanish repertoire! This was after I’d been trying to speak Spanish for the first time ever in my life! This was a bit of a challenge given the unique dialects and accents they use in Argentina for a boy from Caernarfon who had never had a Spanish lesson before deciding to go to Patagonia. I did manage to learn a lot and was even able to hold a basic conversation with someone who spoke no English as I got on the plane back to blighty. However, this has given me the confidence to take advantage of an amazing resource that Cardiff University offers its undergraduate students, a scheme called Languages for all.

Languages for all is a programme that the University runs for free and is open to all undergraduates and postgraduates enrolled at the University. This a great programme and is pretty unique to the University. I never had the chance to study Spanish at school but I’d always been interested in learning some. This is also a fantastic opportunity for people planning to spend a year abroad as part of their course. If you’re a medical student there is the the option offered by the 5th year elective. This is a chance to go away and see how medicine is practiced in any part of the world. At the moment I’m keen to do my elective placement in Costa Rica and then will finish off the period by travelling around Mexico and California.

In order to pull this off my Spanish will need a lot of improving but I’ve started practicing and this course is a perfect example of how the university can help you improve your skills set in order to succeed in reaching whatever you goals maybe. Languages for all gives you the opportunity to study Arabic, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Chinese and Russian and most importantly Welsh! All for free.

This is a rather recent improvement that has been made that wasn’t around when I started studying at Cardiff and its good to see the university has been active in improving the student experience. That’s another benefit higher education and specifically Cardiff offers you and why it is always worth considering!

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