Nicola Cringean French and Spanish student

Nicola Cringean

BA French & Spanish

Tell us a bit about your background…
I am from Edinburgh where I grew up before moving to Glasgow for university this year. I attended the Royal High School in Edinburgh.

Why did you decide to study at the University of Strathclyde?
The main reason I chose Strathclyde was because of what the course offered and also because Strathclyde University is located very close to the centre of Glasgow which offers a great opportunity to discover a new city.  

What made you select your course?
The course focuses more about learning the practical use of the language, and studies more recent written works, which I find more stimulating than studying texts from the 19th century. The year abroad was a big attraction for me when choosing a University as this would give me the chance to fully immerse myself in a new culture, and is an excellent way to master the language.

What has been the highlight of your time at Strathclyde so far?
The social side has been brilliant. Living in halls this year was a chance to meet new people from all sorts of diverse places and backgrounds. During this time, I’ve made lots of new friends, many of whom I know I will have for life.

What would you say is one of the key takeaways from your course?
The structure of the course relies heavily on continual assessment. While at times, this can be quite onerous, I have found it an excellent way to stay on top of the university workload, alongside the other challenges when living away from home for the first time.

What would be your advice for people considering studying at Strathclyde?
The advice I would give would be that Strathclyde has delivered everything that it promised, so there should be no major surprises in terms of course descriptions. I would also recommend to stay in halls for the first year, as it has provided a great environment to aid the transition to more independence.

What has been the main challenge while studying at University?
Trying to balance everything involved with living and studying away from home for the first time. For example, balancing study time with social time and club involvement alongside having to cook and prepare my own meals, washing clothes etc.

If you could travel back in time to give advice to yourself on your first day at Strathclyde, what would you say?
I had the advantage of having an older brother who had gone to university two years before me and he had told me all the things to do to prepare for going to university. The advice he gave to me, which I followed, was to make an effort to meet new people, to join a society or club and to keep on top of the workload.

Have you joined any clubs or societies while at Strathclyde? Tell us a bit more about your experience!
I joined the dance team in first year where we competed all over the UK. I met so many lovely people through this, and I will continue to be a part of the team next year where I will be the new social secretary for the dance team. I also went on the university ski trip to Andorra which was a great way to make new friends and practice French and Spanish!

What do you hope to do when you complete your course?
Ultimately, I hope to move abroad to either France or Spain. My course couldn’t be more suited for this, as it teaches me both the language and the cultural aspects that go alongside.