What’s it like studying Modern Languages? (Spanish edition)

Cadence Sessions

Why I chose Durham

I decided on Durham for my degree (History and Modern European Languages) because after looking through the module handbook for Spanish I found plenty of modules throughout the three years in Durham that would be interesting for me. In my first year, I chose to do Identity in the Spanish Speaking World, and Conflict and Violence in the Spanish Speaking World, and enjoyed both modules. Because you get to do a new topic every five weeks within each cultural module, you get to cover a really wide variety of subjects. I particularly enjoyed the linguistics and identity topic in my first year Identity module. This year I do Nature and Culture Across the Atlantic.

The School of Modern Languages and Cultures (MLAC)

I have found the Languages department to be really helpful both with responding to questions about my modules and also in telling us about opportunities outside of our degree. For example, in Michaelmas Term of this year, I took part in a languages exchange with La Coruña University in Galicia, Spain where I did fortnightly calls with another University student. This was really helpful for my speaking skills and also learning more about Spanish culture!

Year Abroad

I will be going on my year abroad next year and I am really looking forward to this experience. There are lots of options you can take including studying abroad, finding a work placement, or applying for the British Council Assistantship (a 9-month placement teaching English in Spain). I am applying for the British Council Assistantship, so we’ll see where that takes me!


I joined the Modern Languages and Cultures Society in my first year and I am now the secretary on the executive committee. This year I have been involved in organising a couple of socials including a joint one with MLAC Outreach – we have lots of plans for the next two terms. This has been a great opportunity for meeting other people on my course in a more relaxed setting and I’ve made some great friends through this. I’d really recommend joining societies related to your course!

The MLAC Summer Ball

In Easter Term of my first year, I attended the MLAC ball at Ramside Hall. The theme was ‘A Ticket out of Durham’ and it involved a three-course meal, some live music, and candyfloss and popcorn. This was a really great end of year event where we could celebrate after finishing our exams. I also met some really great people who do languages (but not Spanish) that I may not have had the chance to meet otherwise.

Fun with friends at the MLAC Ball

Discover more

With Complete University Guide 2022 as high as 3rd for Arabic, Chinese and Japanese Studies and 5th for Italian, German and Hispanic Studies, the School of Modern Languages and Cultures offers expertise in a wide range of subjects, including language, literature, cultural history, cinema and visual culture, and translation. 

The School also hosts the BA in Visual Arts and Film and has forged a ground-breaking partnership with the BFI bringing students the unique opportunity to learn from industry experts along with University-wide access to the BFI Player. 

Feeling inspired? Visit our Modern Languages and Cultures webpages for more information on our undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.

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Cadence Sessions

Hi, I’m Cadence! I’m a third-year History and Spanish student from John Snow College. I’m currently living in Sevilla for my year abroad where I work as an English Language Assistant in a secondary school.

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