Graduate profile
Freya Hodgkin

Freya Hodgkin

"No other university in the UK offers a languages degree quite like Surrey. Surrey’s focus on employability and using the languages in real life is what attracted me."

Course
Modern Languages (French with German) BA (Hons)
Graduation year
2019

"I chose to come to Surrey as location was really important to me. Originally from Nottinghamshire, I wanted to go south and ideally be close to London. Since I was choosing to study languages, a Professional Training Year (PTY) was also essential to me, and I was really impressed with the support Surrey offered during mine. Ultimately, the course itself, was what made my decision really easy. No other university in the UK offers a languages degree quite like Surrey. Surrey’s focus on employability and using the languages in real life is what attracted me.

"We focus on using the language in a professional context, which I believe makes us more employable and teaches us many transferable skills."

I love that my course does not involve any literature (which some language courses at other universities do). We focus on using the language in a professional context, which I believe makes us more employable and teaches us many transferable skills. As languages at Surrey is a small department, students get to know their lecturers. They are always there to support us, and it feels like a family! We have modern facilities, including up-to-date translation software, and a specific room in the Library just for language students.

I love Surrey Sports Park and have been a member since starting University. I think the facilities are first-class and my amazing experiences there have led me to becoming a fitness instructor myself, and I’m now teaching classes there too. I spend a lot of my free time at the Sports Park, but I equally love chilling at home with my housemates and having some downtime away from studying.

I completed a PTY in my third year. The first six months were spent near Dortmund in Germany, and the remaining months near Annecy in France. I worked as a Teaching Assistant in Germany, where my work involved helping students (aged 10 to 18) in their English lessons, and presenting cultural topics. I also had a lot of free time outside of my working hours so I could continue to teach fitness classes and meet many other like-minded people who I have stayed friends with since.

In France, I worked in a gym. My responsibilities included the general upkeep of the gym floor, working at reception, creating workout plans, and teaching group exercise classes. This is the sector that I would love to pursue in the future, so the experience gained on this placement, at an international level, was invaluable.

Placement year for me was the best experience. A lot of work (and nerves) went into planning it, so the fact that it went so smoothly felt like a great success! I had the opportunity to do lots of travelling (Amsterdam, Geneva, Budapest to just name a few) and meet so many amazing people too. I was presented with the German Placement Award in my final year, which was also a highlight as my lecturers recognised the work I had achieved during my placements.

"I’ve become a lot more confident and focused in what I want to achieve since coming to Surrey. I’ve discovered my passion and where I would like to pursue a career."

I would recommend doing a placement to others as it enables you to develop professional integrity and the confidence to pursue your career goals. You also gain a lot of useful contacts and so many other transferable skills which can be applied to almost any other job.

I’ve become a lot more confident and focused in what I want to achieve since coming to Surrey. I’ve discovered my passion and where I would like to pursue a career. I have made so many brilliant friends who I would never have even met if I had never come to Surrey. I currently work freelance as a Fitness Instructor in the Guildford area and will continue to do so after graduation. I may also go on to do freelance translation, or tutor languages." 

Share what you've read?

Related profiles

Y.Cao

Student

Yiou Cao

Interpreting (Chinese Pathway) MA

Student_Z.Chang

Student

Zhang Chang

Interpreting (Chinese Pathway) MA