Since I learned on a university open day that it was possible for non-language students to do a year abroad, I wanted to go and study in France. I was studying French at A-level, and I was so excited for the opportunity to study there (in fact, the option to do a year abroad was one of the reasons I applied to Birmingham). I will be keeping a diary of the year abroad application process on this blog, and this is the first instalment! Enjoy!
October 2015 – Received an email about a talk on applying for a year abroad. Unfortunately is at the same time as one of my lectures. Booked appointment with study abroad tutor to catch up.
Found out that the systems for doing a year in Europe and outside of it are different. To go within Europe (for music students this is a university in France or Germany) I have to apply through Erasmus, and to go outside Europe (numerous universities, mainly in North America and Australia), applications are through Study Abroad.
Wrote a 500-word personal statement about why I want to study in France, to determine whether or not I will be allocated a place. In this I talked about how living in France would improve my confidence and language speaking skills, as well as why I wanted to go to that particular university. Sent personal statement to year abroad tutor.
December 19th 2015 – Received an email saying that I’ve been allocated a place at Université Paul-Valéry in Montpellier! Now to start filling in the forms…
December 29th 2015 – Printed off the first study abroad form, to be handed in on the 15th of January. Most of it is tick-able, but I don’t know how much money I will be paying to UoB whilst abroad, or how the course will be assessed In Montpellier. The internet wasn’t very helpful on either of these topics so I emailed the study abroad office about it.
January 6th 2016 – Turns out I was filling in the wrong form; the one I described doesn’t have to be handed in until June. The right form was actually one to fill in and send off online (which I have now done). It was pretty easy, just had to put in contact details and other things like that.
So that was Part One of my Erasmus adventure! I wonder what will happen next… (Probably more admin)
Hello, I’m Heather and I’m in second year studying BMus Music
Home town: Rotherham, South Yorkshire
Instrument: Clarinet and piano
My favourite piece of music: Rachmaninoff – Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini
Why I study music: I always enjoyed learning instruments and composing, and it’s a very varied degree in which I can do these things as well as develop academic skills like essay writing.
Hobbies: Baking, running, reading, board games
Fascinating fact about me: I have a minor obsession with sloths (I have a cuddly toy sloth called Slothgang Amadeus, and my dream is to go to Costa Rica to visit the sloth sanctuary).
Hi, I’m Sophie and I’m a fresher (first year) doing BMus Music.
Home town: I was born in East London, but I’ve lived in Bedford for most of my life.
Instrument: I’m a Soprano and I also play the piano.
My favourite piece of music: Tough question.. I like to think of myself as a William Byrd aficionado (even though I have a lot more to learn!).. So it would have to be ‘Civitas sancti tui’, but I also love ‘Versa est in luctum’ by Alonso Lobo.
Why I study music: It’s tough questions galore! I study music because it’s my absolute and utter passion. Music isn’t just a hobby to me- it’s what I want my career to be. Apparently at the age of 2 I was constantly singing ‘Frère Jacques’.. So I think it was pretty obvious from a young age I was going to end up studying it!
Hobbies: I’m a typical girl.. Shopping is most definitely my vice. However, I’m also known as a ‘petrol head’ at home- I adore cars. I have an ambition to be able to tell the make and model of every car I see… It’s a working progress!
Fascinating fact about me: I cried and practically hyperventilated when I met Eric Whitacre
Hi, I’m Will. I’m in second year studying BMus Music.
Home town: Lilleshall, Shropshire
Instrument: Guitar, Piano, Voice
My favourite piece of music: Richard Strauss – An Alpine Symphony, although I’m also rather keen on Mahler.
Why I study music: The course has a broad range of material which caters for everyone, and provides both academic and creative avenues to pursue. You also have the opportunity to take certain things which you learn in music and apply them to other things. Furthermore, the department as a whole has a very welcoming feel, and you’ll very quickly learn who everyone is and who to talk to if you need something.
Hobbies: Graphic design, video production, cross country running, motorsports, attending concerts and other music events, football
Fascinating fact about me: I’m part German (which hopefully means I’ll compose like Beethoven or something)
Hello, I’m Adele. I’m in second year studying BMus Music.
Home town: Lydney, Forest of Dean
Instrument: Flute, Harpsichord/Piano
My favourite piece of music: Sibelius Violin Concerto (or anything by Debussy will do for me)
Why I study music: It’s such a wide reaching subject, with what I think is the perfect balance of creativity, academia, and performing. Plus, the course here at UoB is really varied so you experience everything, then can tailor your modules to your own preferences.
Hobbies: Recently discovered a love of cooking (on a student level I should add), reading, going to gigs, researching songs and bands to talk about on my radio show, and occasionally Skyping my parents so they know I’m alive (but mainly just to see my dogs).
Fascinating fact about me: Apparently I’m very very very distantly related to John Williams on my mum’s side…maybe
Hi, I’m Zoe and I’m in my first year studying BA Modern Languages & Music (French & German)
Home town: Northampton
Favourite piece of music: Ruslan and Lyudmila Overture – Glinka
Why I study music: The study of music unlocks a world of creativity that I have always found exciting. Studying music provides the opportunity to explore history and cultures. Music is a universal language and it is great when people from all over the world are able to connect through music.
Hobbies: Playing orchestral and chamber music. Walking the dogs, and the occasional bit of knitting or anything arty and creative!
Fascinating fact about me: My favourite biscuits are pink panther wafers!
Hello, I’m Usha. I am a third year BMus Music student.
Home town: Bangalore, India
Instrument: Piano and voice
My favourite piece of music: Brahms symphony no. 3
Why I study music: I love it!
Hobbies: Music, badminton, reading, laughing, teaching, working with paints and paper to create something different
Fascinating fact about me: This will sound heavy but as intense as I am, I balance it out by having the courage to be absolutely silly. I love to laugh and I love myself to the point of conceit. I can’t love another as much and as often otherwise.