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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 10:34 pm 
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DD is struggling to complete her personal statement in the next couple of weeks - and to finalise exactly where she wants to apply. Her problem is that she would like to read joint honours in English and French but surprisingly few unis offer it - and now she has ruled out one or two good options (I thought!) of those that do, her options are shrinking.

She has three definitely in mind - all hideously over subscribed - but also wants to put down an English only course at Bristol (can't do Eng with French, though can do either with all sorts of other subjects!) -again it will be massively competitve. This is partly because she likes the city but mostly because she likes the course. Is it entirely pointless to apply and is there a way that she can send a covering note explaining why she is doing this and how much she likes the course? Or will they just think she is flakey?! Durham have a great system where you can do a personalised statement which does at least allow you to respond to exactly what is in the course there. Any tips on how to cover this in a P S.?

She is also very keen on Scotland - where of course she'd be able to do two years of both subjects plus a n other and then either continue both or specialise without it being double the workload - but then she'll have double the debt of the majority of students so that's not ideal either.. not sure it will be fun to be with a whole bunch of non paying students. And it makes a very long course if you have a year abroad in the middle.

Alternatively perhaps she should just go for English and then perhaps try for an Erasmus year (? is this even possible or advisable without some European context for her course?), and keep her language skills going by working abroad in the holidays. Ultimately she is interested in working in Europe she thinks but she is exceptionally good at English and the school are urging her to just apply for this (not least as joint honours are so hard to get in to and to study). She feels there are so many English graduates and this would give her an added extra in the end which may be true but not if it makes Uni too exhausting.

Sorry - many more questions than intended but any thoughts welcome!


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 7:41 am 
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another mother wrote:

She has three definitely in mind - all hideously over subscribed - but also wants to put down an English only course at Bristol (can't do Eng with French, though can do either with all sorts of other subjects!) -again it will be massively competitve. This is partly because she likes the city but mostly because she likes the course. Is it entirely pointless to apply and is there a way that she can send a covering note explaining why she is doing this and how much she likes the course? Or will they just think she is flakey?! Durham have a great system where you can do a personalised statement which does at least allow you to respond to exactly what is in the course there. Any tips on how to cover this in a P S.?


Many universities have excellent language centres http://www.bristol.ac.uk/sml/afl/french/ and encourage all undergraduates to either continue a language they have studies or start a new one - maybe can write the PS enthusing enough about French to cover both it being part of the degree (elsewhere) or private learning (Bristol) . Agree re the PS.... silly that they have to cover all bases, like a sausage factory... :roll:
Medics can only apply to 4 unis so what do they do for the fifth??? Durham as you say do separate PS if appropriate and I think Cambridge too.

Quote:
She is also very keen on Scotland - where of course she'd be able to do two years of both subjects plus a n other and then either continue both or specialise without it being double the workload - but then she'll have double the debt of the majority of students so that's not ideal either.. not sure it will be fun to be with a whole bunch of non paying students. And it makes a very long course if you have a year abroad in the middle.

!


I think the best unis in scotland will be full of english students!! so don't worry - also any language course at Edinburgh is still four years like in England.. they rely on some academic work being done on the year abroad. St Andrews is 4 or 5 depending on what you decide to do on year abroad - if it is academic then that year counts and the course becomes 4 years.
re the fees - don't think they have announced amount yet - even if more than 7k may be better on a course there.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 1:27 pm 
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thank you very much HM - will get her to look at the Bristol site and also one or two other English courses that offer some sort of european literature option and actively suggest you keep a language going.
I have a vague memory that you can submit your UCAS form incomplete and then add courses to it? She is going to ring one or two admissions officers tomorrow to ask how best to do this.

I'm slightly annoyed with school for insisting on such very early submission - not sure how good it is to beat the rush if you end up putting the wrong course down.

Good news about Aberdeen (see LFH's post on recent thread) - I imagine this will make it harder for St Andrews and Edinburgh to ask for four years full fees from English students - also need to get fine detail on what they are charging for spending the year abroad. It all remains very devisive though.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 2:20 pm 
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I think there is something about being able to add to the UCAS form if you have left slots open. have you been on studentroom? seems to be the other place I inhabit these days!!!

As far as I am aware they don;t charge for the year abroad if you are away for more than a certain number of weeks - also there is a grant from the EU / erasmus of about 300 euros a month while you are abroad also if you are teaching there you get paid. Most of the language students I have met have said they were never so wealthy as on the year abroad.

edit: just seen LFH's post and link. odd way to do it but there you go... anyway I think the key is in the fact that the scottish government can't afford to pay for all their students to have Uni free - there is a huge deficit in the higher education budget and something has to give. i am sure that they will have the same fees within a year or so and Alec Salmond will be asking for the recipe for Humble Pie.

even more editing: re third year abroad

"Does it cost anything?
As an Erasmus student you do not pay tuition fees to the host university and in most cases if you go for an academic year (at least 24 weeks excluding holidays) your UK tuition fees are waived. However, if you study abroad for less than a year, your home institution normally requires you to pay a proportion of the fee, where applicable.
Erasmus grants are paid in addition to the standard grants or loans to which you are currently entitled. This is a supplementary, non-repayable grant intended to help towards any additional expenses you may incur while abroad. The current grant for 2009/10 is €225 a month. "


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 4:00 pm 
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hermanmunster wrote:
edit: just seen LFH's post and link. odd way to do it but there you go... anyway I think the key is in the fact that the scottish government can't afford to pay for all their students to have Uni free - there is a huge deficit in the higher education budget and something has to give. i am sure that they will have the same fees within a year or so and Alec Salmond will be asking for the recipe for Humble Pie.

Make no mistake, Herman, Alec has a knack of always coming up smelling of roses. I think the court case in Europe will prove he has to make the fees free to everyone in the UK, and so he will have to say that he was forced into a corner by Europe, and a plot hatched by the English to make him charge the poor Scottish people for university education,as there is no way free tuition can continue in Scotland(but that is just a ruse as it could not continue anyway). Alec Salmond and humble pie do not fit in a sentence together. :lol:


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 4:33 pm 
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Looking for help wrote:
hermanmunster wrote:
edit: just seen LFH's post and link. odd way to do it but there you go... anyway I think the key is in the fact that the scottish government can't afford to pay for all their students to have Uni free - there is a huge deficit in the higher education budget and something has to give. i am sure that they will have the same fees within a year or so and Alec Salmond will be asking for the recipe for Humble Pie.

Make no mistake, Herman, Alec has a knack of always coming up smelling of roses. I think the court case in Europe will prove he has to make the fees free to everyone in the UK, and so he will have to say that he was forced into a corner by Europe, and a plot hatched by the English to make him charge the poor Scottish people for university education,as there is no way free tuition can continue in Scotland(but that is just a ruse as it could not continue anyway). Alec Salmond and humble pie do not fit in a sentence together. :lol:


:lol: :lol: indeed - then that is the requirement of a politician to be able to turn everything in your favour - I suspect he would actually be quite glad to have the extra dosh coming into the kitty!


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:42 am 
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The suggestion of looking into doing the French outside the degree might be worth looking into. I suspect that quite a lot of universities may offer tuition that is not necesarily widely advertised or taken up, though with cuts this may be disappearing.

I can only say that from my own experience (over 30 years ago!) I had a huge amount of Russian teaching quite outside my degree but at degree level and I was staggered that so few students took advantage of the option. I only discovered about the possibility through a friend who was studying MFL; it was quite common for linguists to do an additional language outside their degree but I never found anyone else doing it! My experience was at Cambridge and it was called the Certificate of Competent Knowledge (CCK). Basically it consisted of taking the language but not lit papers for the MFL degree.

I'm pretty sure that Surrey used to make studying a MFL a significant component of a non MFL degree (but may not any more - given that no-one takes MFL in school!)

Would look into Erasmus but I don't quite understand how it works i.e. whether it has to be formally linked to your degree course or whether you can just take a year 'out'. (I have seen different info on this.)

Don't give up on French! A MFL opens your horizons and experiences whether or not it leads directly or indrectly into a job (though I did end up quite unexpectedly working in the Former Soviet Union on and off dfor 10 years 1991 onwards!)

_________________
P's mum


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:58 pm 
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thanks P's mum, we will certainly look into it. I'm sure there are ways she can maintain and improve her French whatever happens in the end - and if she ends up taking a gap year she plans to go to France for part of it to work (assuming she can find work!). She certainly won't give up on MFL - much too much of a Romantic apart from anything else and I agree with you that a broader knowledge is enriching and potentially useful. I've never heard of the CCK - I wonder if it still exists. Sounds great! (as does Russia - am curious as to why you were there during Glasnost presumably?)

Her Personal statement is now running at 66 lines and looking strong but clearly way too long! I have read it and am frankly impressed- but have no tips on what to cut. I also think it will be clear, even to any courses with a small foreign literature component ,that she is really chasing a joint honours place and I fear they won't even offer. In reality she is only putting down three and two of those are Scottish! (which she may not be so keen on given massive fees announced today by Edinburgh) and I fear they won't even offer. Seven days till she has to hand it in.. Feels crazy that after striving away for years towards this goal we are still re-jigging options and almost sticking pins at this point!


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 4:20 pm 
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Strongly advise phoning admissions in the departments she is most keen on and asking advice.

Hope it goes well.


(And unless DC is applying for Oxbridge then if she isnt ready would phone the school and explain. Some Unis were interviewing as applications came in & offering to the best students so there could be value in early application but not if it pushes into the wrong choice.)


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