Beatrice Martinelli

BA Arabic and English

Summary: Find out how Beatrice spent her year abroad in Morocco and her plans for when she graduates


Why did you decide to study here?
I decided to study in Leeds because I wanted to combine a degree in arabic with one in English literature and the joint honours system at Leeds allowed me to do this. Leeds is renowned for the teaching of languages so I was reassured that my course would be of excellent quality. Finally, Leeds gives you the joys of  campus life without being far from the city centre!

What are your top-tips for new students?
Plan your work as far ahead as possible so that you have the time to get involved with extra-curricular activities (there are lots!). Also, put the effort in with your first year of studies to make sure you grasp the topics early on.  This is important if you are learning a language as it will help you on your year abroad.

What do you plan to do when you graduate?
I want to go into translation or possibly interpreting.

Where did you spend your year abroad?
I spent my year abroad in Morocco.

What did you do on your year abroad?
I went to an institute called Arabic Language Institute in Fes and made friends with my classmates and the local people. I had the opportunity to practice my Arabic on a day to day basis and visited some beautiful places like Casablanca, Marrakesh and Rabat.

What did you enjoy most about the year abroad?
What I enjoyed most about the year abroad was spending time with a close group of friends, which gave me the chance to get to know them better. I also enjoyed experiencing a new culture and making friends with local people. Last but not least, I got to travel and visit some really stunning places.

What's the best thing about Leeds University?
I think it’s the Union. It’s one of the biggest in the country and if you have a suggestion or idea, they really do listen to you. It also offers many services, activities and societies which give you the opportunity to have a good time, develop extracurricular skills and make friends with people outside of your course.

What's the best thing about your course?
I appreciate our small seminar groups so that we can all practice Arabic more easily. Being able to spend a year abroad in an Arabic-speaking country is fantastic too. In the Arabic department you are well looked after as all the tutors are there when you need them.

Finally, doing a Joint Honours course allows me to study two subjects at the same depth as I would do on a single honours course. It also has the advantage of making you part of two schools rather than one, and this means more activities, more socials and more friends!

Give an example of one of your favourite things to do in Leeds.
Shopping! There are loads of shops in Leeds and a great variety. Also going for relaxing walks in the parks -Hyde Park or the gorgeous Roundhay Park- is definitely one of my favourite things to do in Leeds.

How is University different from 6th Form or College?
University differs from school as you are more independent. You live with new people, without your family, and have more responsibilities. You also have more freedom, have more fun and make new friends. In a few words, it prepares you for later life in an enjoyable and exciting way.