Student Profiles – Jen, Modern and Medieval Languages

Jen is a first-year MML (French and Spanish) student from the West Midlands. At A Level, she studied History, Geography, and French.

Jerwood Library at night by David Valinsky

Why did you choose Trinity Hall?
I liked the location of the college and the friendly nature of the students who gave me a tour.

How did you prepare for the application process and interviews? Was it what you expected?
I had one mock interview with my school and practised admission tests – in all honesty, my real interview was very different to my mock. I wasn’t expecting my interviewers to be as friendly and reassuring as they were. I think it’s important to see the interviews as a practice to see if you like the supervision-style of teaching at Cambridge, rather than being scared for them.

Why did you choose your course?
I’d always known I wanted to study French as it was my favourite subject for all of secondary school, but I chose Spanish much later as Cambridge MML consists of two languages. I chose Spanish because I had enjoyed the Spanish history paper of my A Level History course.

How does your course compare to your expectations?
My course is much more fun than I expected! It’s been really interesting to discover that I really enjoy the new texts, especially ones from periods I would never have expected to encounter before. I love the way that the literature and culture paper of first year French covers such a broad range of texts, from New Wave cinema to medieval poetry.

Trinity Hall boathouse next to the River Cam. The sky is blue and the College flag is flying outside

How are you taught?
I have around 10 contact hours each week, mostly in small groups – I have grammar and translation classes for both languages, with literature, oral and grammar supervisions as well as around 2/3 lectures each week. I’m also looking forward to my year abroad, which I’m hoping to spend in the south of France!

How do you manage your workload?
I love to keep changing locations whilst I study, using my room, faculty libraries, coffee shops and the Jerwood (college library). For me, studying in groups is important during the busiest weeks of term – it still feels like I’m having some social interaction, even when I have to spend most of my time studying.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?
I enjoy rowing and coxing with the Trinity Hall boat club, and I’m the social media secretary for LingSoc (the University Linguistics Society). I also study a Polish open course offered by the university.