‘Opening Doors 2012: Languages in Wales and the World’

On Wednesday 25 January, Swansea University’s Department of Languages, Translation and Media opened its doors to pupils from a number of local secondary schools. The aim: to inform pupils in years 11 to 13, as well as their teachers and careers advisors, about the varied opportunities to study Modern Languages at university and the value of their skills after graduation.

Business representative Scott Evans of Cassidian delivered an inspiring opening address and showed pupils how knowing a language could enhance their career prospects. As well as talking about his own experiences, he gave useful examples of jobs in the local area that require foreign language skills.

Keynote speaker Scott Evans of Cassidian

Pupils and teachers then sampled sessions in the language labs, led by Julien Hamilton-Hart, Jo Langley (French) and Patricia Rodriguez-Martinez (Spanish), and enjoyed talks on ‘Europop’ and ‘Languages and the Sciences’ by Tom Cheesman and Duncan Large (German).

The day closed with a presentation on the year abroad by Ute Keller, the Department’s Erasmus Coordinator, with contributions from a number of undergraduates who have recently returned from their intercalary year in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Chile. They shared their stories and highlighted the transferable skills they acquired working or studying abroad. 

Finalist David Lewis tells pupils about his year abroad in Germany

 The ‘Opening Doors’ Event was organised by Swansea University with Routes into Languages Cymru. The project is funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales to encourage the study of languages in Welsh schools, and to increase enrolment in language degrees. 

Many thanks to the organisers and all involved. The day was a great success.

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