Ciara Fogarty

Joint Honours German

Summary: Find out how Ciara spent her weekends in Austria and which other parts of Europe she visited during her year abroad.


Why did you decide to study here?
I chose to study at the University of Leeds for a variety of reasons including the course, the facilities and the town itself. It was very important to me that the German department, at which I would study, was reputable and had great facilities, which Leeds has. When I started my first year I was still unsure about what I wanted to study so needed a flexible degree programme. Leeds’ joint honours system offered me this flexibility and I had the option to pick and choose my modules. I also wanted to study in a large vibrant city which has a lot going on and Leeds had this - the city is only five minutes walk away from the campus.

What are your top-tips for new students?
My top tip for new students is to not get caught up in just spending time with your friends in your halls. Although this is obviously important I think it is essential to get involved with all aspects of university life, including your course, a society and sports so that you meet new people across the university.

Where did you spend your year abroad?
I spent my year abroad in Munich, Germany where I did a one year internship in the controlling department of a large international insurance company.

What did you enjoy most about the year abroad?
The highlight of my year abroad was experiencing new cultures and having the ability to travel so much. I made sure I was as integrated as possible into German society by working for a German company, living in a shared flat with all German students and socialising as much as possible with my German friends. I absolutely loved this as I really feel like I experienced the country and the lifestyle rather than having an “ex-pat experience.”

Munich is situated in the south of Germany, very near the Austrian and Italian border and is only a 45 minute drive from the Alps. This gave me the opportunity to go skiing every weekend during winter and to travel a great deal throughout the year. I travelled not only in Germany but also in Austria, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Italy.

What's the best thing about Leeds University?
I think one of the best things about Leeds is that it is a campus university that is right in the city centre. This is very unusual as many universities either have campuses that are miles from the city or they don’t have a proper campus feel because their buildings are spread all over the city. I love this about Leeds and it makes the day less stressful when everything is nearby and you can be in Leeds in 10 minutes if you need to. The Union is amazing too as there are plenty of facilities available and loads of events going on.

What's the best thing about Joint Honours German?
The best thing about my course is the variety that it offers. Not only do I study two very different subjects at the same time but the choice of modules that is available within those subjects is also very diverse. Not many people can say they studied a modern foreign language with a mathematical science at university.

What university clubs and societies are you a member of? (if applicable)
I am a member of the German Society, the Leeds Snowriders Society and the LUU Modern Dance Society. I also play intramural netball for the German department and participate in several aerobic and dance classes every week.

Give an example of one of your favourite things to do in Leeds.
One of my favourite non-academic things to do in Leeds is to relax in nearby Hyde Park when the weather is nice. It is lots of fun as you see lots of people you know and so you can relax together. I also enjoy spending time in Headingley. It is so different to Leeds; it has a more relaxed feel about it and is a great place to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon.