Maia Rogers will graduate this summer. In a recent post shared via her personal blog, she reflected on what her experience as a second-language Welsh student at the School of Welsh was like.
With Maia’s permission, we’re re-posting her blog here. Read about what she thinks her degree has given her and about the new found confidence which will be a springboard to her future success.
“What has doing a Welsh degree done for me? A better question would be what hasn’t it done.
“Upon making the decision to do a Welsh degree many thoughts ran through my head. I’m second language so inevitably the fear of not having the ability to speak the language fluently or understand lectures came flooding through.
“In school, I always knew I wanted to be a teacher. I love the environment of being with school children in primary school. Learning through experience and play. Enjoying the environment of learning new things without realising it, but then came the Welsh language, the culture and the language I just loved learning more about.
“So, I took the jump and here I stand having just completed three years in a Welsh-language degree and I don’t regret one moment. Learning a language opens up so many opportunities, some of them I could never have imagined experiencing. I never pictured myself sitting in the middle of a parent and toddler group teaching new words to new generations. Standing in front of a pupil in an English-medium primary school and inspiring them to love the language.
“But I haven’t just learnt more about the language in my degree. I have gained the knowledge of communicating through Welsh. The ability to socialise with the Welsh language community and trust me…that fear you have of the first-language students being intimidating it really isn’t that bad. Some are even shocked that you’re second-language. The knowledge I have gained on Welsh culture and literature is something that will be of use to me for the rest of my life.
“So, what would I say to someone looking to study a Welsh degree… do it. I mean how amazing to think that I can now communicate through a whole new language. My degree has helped me build so many connections through the medium of Welsh. It has taught me to take risks and have confidence in my abilities. I look at the Welsh language like looking through a different lens at life. In my home life I speak English and communicate solely through English but when I speak Welsh, I feel like I have a different persona and I’m able to hide any fears and take every opportunity.
“Making the decision to do a Welsh-language degree at Cardiff University was one of the best decisions I have made. I am forever grateful for the friendships built, the memories I have made and the success I have achieved. So, looking to do a Welsh degree? Don’t hesitate. Take that jump. Try on a different lens.”