Good morning! Another week has gone by and I do hope it’s been productive for you all. Today I’m here to share a Uni Life interview. The purpose behind this interview series is to give prospective and current students an insight into life at university, what it takes to get there and how to survive.
I hope that these interviews will give you a chance to learn from current and recently graduated students about the courses you’re interested in. This week I’m talking with Jodie, A Primary Education student at Roehampton University.
What course are you studying at university?
I am studying a BA in Primary Education at Roehampton University. I am specialising in Special and Inclusive Education as part of the course. This is my first year of a three year course.
Did you have to study specific subjects at college to get onto the course?
You had to have a GCSE of grade C or above in Maths, English and Science as well as an a-level in a specific subject if that was your specialism. Otherwise entry was based on points and your general character and experience in school. When I applied for the course I had to attend an interview before hand.
How did you know this was the right course for you?
I spent four years out of education before deciding this was what I wanted to study. The decision came through any different life experiences (like volunteering in South Africa) but ultimately it was knowing I wanted to do more than working in a bar or being a nanny for the rest of my life.
What do you enjoy most about your course?
I enjoy the placement side of the course the most. Each year I partake in a placement in school teaching a class along side the class teacher. Although it is tiring and hard work, it is great to be getting a hands on experience of the job I will be doing in a few years time.
What do you find most challenging about your course?
The sheer amount of reading and self study that is expected of you. I’m dyslexic and find it takes me double the time to complete our weekly readings. I have also found the organisation of the course makes understanding what is expected of you harder.
Are internships easy to come by in your field?
There are no internships offered with my course/field, however students are often offered a job at their placement school for when they graduate.
Please tell us about an internship/work experience that you’ve gained something positive from.
During my first placement this year I gained valuable experience from teaching but also from the class teacher who was basically like a mentor to me. It made understanding everything we learn at uni much easier too.
Do you have any career plans in mind for when you’ve graduated?
I would really like to gain my QTS, which I do by teaching for a year in an English school. I would then like to go and teach abroad, either working in English schools based in expat areas or teaching English as a foreign language.
Do you take part in any student groups or outside activities?
I don’t, I meant to join up in freshers week but I felt too intimidated by it all and now I feel it is too far through the year to try. It doesn’t help being much older than the freshers!
What do you do in your spare time?
I’m not big on clubbing or going out because I don’t drink. Instead in my spare time (not that there is much with my course), I like to do yoga or other forms of exercise, I enjoy working on my blog, reading others and attending travel blogger events. Oh and planning/actually travelling. However in reality most of my spare time is taking up with actually going to work, as I work for a nanny agency around my lectures.
What would you’ve liked to know about university life before you started?
How much of my time it was going to consume, how broke I would be, how tired I would be and how old I would feel. I know that sounds like a lot of moans but going back to education after four years was a lot harder than I expected!
What keeps you motivated?
The end job of being a teaching, oh and the large amount I’m paying in tuition fees. Ultimately I chose to come back to education and train to be a teacher so I don’t find it too hard to get motivated at the moment, I’m sure come second year that will begin to change.
What advice would you offer to prospective students?
I would recommend to anyone who wants to start a teaching degree, to go and get some life experience. It was the best thing anyone told me to do when I was unsure of what degree to do at age 18/19. I would also recommend making sure you look at a variety of uni’s when applying and make sure you attend all of the interviews.
Lastly if you are a mature or older student try and socialise with other students from the first week, I’m not just seen as the slightly old and weird one because I never go out with anyone.
Finally, what is your go to meal after a busy day of lectures?
Dominoes or Pizza Hut! If my day has been that busy and horrid then I just need a takeaway pizza to eat in bed!
I want to say a big thank you to Jodie for taking part in this interview and wish her the best of luck with the course. All the hard work will be worth it in the end, especially with the chance of teaching overseas. As Jodie mentions, it’s very important to ensure you’re going to university for the right reasons and course. There’s nothing wrong with taking a couple of years out to decide what you really want to study.