Student perspectives - Alice
Third year English and Media Studies
My name is Alice and I’m doing English and Media as a joint honours and I’m currently in my third year which means that I’ve been here for about two and a half years.
Why did you choose to study in the UK?
I decided to study in the UK because I come originally from Luxembourg and I took a course there in English Literature and I really wanted to go on and do more English Literature. I could have stayed on the continent but I decided to come to the island because I like the people and I like the culture as well.
How is your course taught?
My course is taught in lectures and in seminars and the lectures are pretty much dogmatic so there is one person speaking which is a lecturer or possibly one of my tutors, even. The seminars are based on the participation of the students themselves, so everybody can speak if they want to, they don’t necessarily have to. We do presentations; we do all different kinds of group work, so you might end up doing a one-to-one, just a small conversation about what you’ve read, you might have to work on a question that your tutor gives you; your tutor might ask questions into the room to stimulate discussion but in general I think the tutors try and change the teaching methods from time to time just to give you a bit of variety of teaching methods.
How is teaching different in the UK compared to Luxembourg?
I took a course in English Literature at the University of Luxembourg, so I knew what university was like and it was fairly similar in terms of the university teaching, coming to the UK, because it was all lectures and seminars, so that didn’t really change much, but compared to the education system in Luxembourg in general, which is far more dogmatic so it’s very rare that you get to speak openly about what you think, you have to repeat basically what your textbook says or what your teacher says to you. There is a lot more freedom coming here, you can openly express what you want to say, of course you don’t have to agree with what your teacher says, they might have an opinion about what you say but in general it’s your opinion that counts and not somebody else’s.
What is it like being a student mentor?
After my first year there was an advertisement, by the university itself, that said that they were looking for student mentors and since I myself had been to one in my first year, I decided that I would apply and I was taken in. I’ve been a student mentor for a year and a half now and generally the questions people ask, when they come to me, are about essays; how to structure, how to proof read themselves, or if it’s just simply using the library, all different kinds of questions that come up, they can feel free to ask me.
What are your plans after Sussex?
Seeing that this is my last year, I’m going to move on, I’m probably not staying at Sussex. I’ve applied for a couple of masters, again in the UK, because I really like it and want to stay here and I’ve got used to the system right now so I’m definitely going to do a masters degree in the Culture Industry possibly, if they want me, so I’m sort of staying within my degree, I’m not moving on to something completely different.