Modern Languages students Lewis Creechan, BA Spanish and English

Lewis Creechan in his graduation gown

Tell us a bit about your background…
I’m 24, was born in Glasgow and live currently in Cumbernauld. After 6th year of high school, and having crashed higher Spanish, I went straight into university and have since found my passion in modern languages. I started my course in 2013 and I’ve taken 6 years to complete my honours degree with 2 of these years spent abroad in La Rioja, Spain - one compulsory year abroad and one year of voluntary suspension because I wasn't completely satisfied with my level of fluency.

Why did you decide to study at the University of Strathclyde?
I love Glasgow and being from here I wanted to stay in the city. The university has a very good reputation in all departments, especially with regards to my chosen course of study and is ideally located right in the city centre.

What made you select your course?
I selected my course because the option to combine a modern language with another subject is an exciting opportunity and makes for a diverse degree choice. Not only this, but the ability to travel and spend a year abroad teaching was very important to me.

What has been the highlight of your time at Strathclyde so far?
The two years I spent in Spain working with the British Council and my recent graduation day.

What would you say is one of the key takeaways from your course?
Confidence. As a language learner it can sometimes be tough to know how well you are progressing in terms of ability and fluency but the more you are immersed each year into the language you can really start to notice a difference and your confidence in the language grows. The compulsory year abroad also greatly aided this.

What would be your advice for people considering studying at Strathclyde?
Choose to do a course in something you enjoy as opposed to something you feel you have to do. Enjoying what you do is half the battle and university is already hard enough without having to force yourself to do something you do not like. This is why I think first year is so important. On many Humanities and Social Sciences courses you are initially given the option to study 3 separate disciplines and then you would progress into second year with 2 or 1 disciplines. Use the ability to choose these 3 disciplines in your first year as way to give yourself options.

What has been the main challenge while studying at University?
Exams. It’s a really stressful time. There were moments where it almost got the better of me, but I had to remind myself that we are all in the same boat and at the end of the day if you are prepared then you will be fine.

If you could travel back in time to give advice to yourself on your first day at Strathclyde, what would you say?
Don’t get so stressed out. You’ll get your degree.

What do you hope to do when you complete your course?
I’m hoping to get into teaching as this is what I did while living in Spain. For the time being I am moving to Portugal to try and pick up some Portuguese and expand my language knowledge.