Language Courses - Arabic

At the beginning of my Oxford experience, I decided that I wanted to learn a language. From prospectuses and open days, I knew that Oxford offered this facility and I was excited to stretch myself in taking up a non-European language like Mandarin.

In the end I settled on Arabic due to my growing historical interest in the Middle East and a desire to enter that neck of the woods in later history papers.

Unfortunately due to my poor organisation and being generally overwhelmed by Freshers I missed out on the first term of language lessons. I was gutted. I thought I'd missed my chance. However, a quick perusal of the language website showed that there was another chance for idiots like me who just hadn't got themselves organised- an intensive, 1 week course!

So in November I signed myself up. There was however the small hiccup if where I was going to stay to complete this course at the start of December when we'd all been booted out for the interviewees. Fear not! I offered to help out and was rewarded with free accommodation and meals and enough free time for me to attend the classes.

And attend I did for 4 hours a day for 5 days. It was a slog to say the least.

I found Arabic particularly difficult because I was having to learn an entirely new alphabet and their sounds. However the teacher was amazing and I picked things up faster than I was expecting. We covered the basics; the alphabet, some numbers, saying hello and where we were from.

I really enjoyed it, so much so that I then made sure that I signed up for the general course for Hilary so that I could carry on learning without the pressure and intensity of it being crammed into 5 days.

I really enjoy going to the classes; once a week for 2 hours. I find that it's something different to do that still stretches my brain and I'm meeting new and interesting people outside of college.

With just a little bit of extra work outside the lessons I don't find it overwhelming and it fits quite neatly into my weekly schedule. I would really recommend picking up a new language. It keeps your brain active, helps you pick up new skills and introduces you to new people. 

Suffice to say I'll be going back again next term if all goes well!


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