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Our students come from all walks of life and are all united by a love of languages and a curiosity about cultures across the globe. Read on to find out more about what inspired some of our students to study with us and how their study has enriched their lives and careers.

Jonathan Yonge: A desire for lifelong learning

Studied: Chinese

Jonathan Yonge

The OU offers a very, very high quality education.

The quality of tuition offered by the OU is at least as high as it was in the degrees I studied at traditional brick universities, if not better. The marking and feedback I got from my tutor was excellent. Because the OU offers a very, very high quality of education you need to approach your studies with the same commitment. Although I had to give up some of my free time to studying, I didn’t lose out on my earnings time, so studying with the OU was less expensive for me than studying at a brick university. I hope to do a new OU course each year for as long as I’m able and keep adding to my portfolio of knowledge.

Find out about our current Chinese courses

Amy Shailes: Cambridge University – via the OU

Studied: French and German

I had some amazing tutors. They really do take time out to support you.

My A-Level results were not good enough to get me into a brick university so I studied part-time with the OU. When I started to think that maybe I could go on to study languages full-time at a residential university and explained to my tutor that I’d applied to Cambridge University she was beyond helpful. I honestly don’t think I would be at Cambridge without her. I had some amazing tutors at the OU. They really do take the time out to support you. I intend to go into international development, so having learned languages at the OU enables me to help refugees and engage with a wider variety of people

Find out about our language courses
Amy Shailes

Marielle Meulenberg: Finding happiness and a new direction in life

Studied: MA in Applied Linguistics

Marielle Meulenberg

I’ve found a way of being happy again.

As a language teacher I felt a fraud because I didn’t have any formal training. The OU MA course helped me figure so many things out. I’ve always suffered from self-doubt but when I completed my Masters I thought for the first time, ‘Yes, I am worthy.’ My tutor has recommended that I do the doctorate in linguistics. I’m also thinking of setting up a consulting firm for corporate communications. You might say the OU has set the course of my life for the next 10 or 15 years, and pointed me in a direction I feel comfortable with, I feel excited about. I’ve found a way of being happy again.

Find out about our Applied Linguistics course

Joanne Walker: Turning a love of language into an MA in Translation

Studied: MA in Translation (Spanish)

Doing this course has radically affected the way I think about everything.

As a French and Spanish teacher in school I didn’t get the opportunity to improve my own language skills, so I decided to study translation at the OU, because translating deepens your own knowledge of a language. The scope of the OU course was huge. We looked at how to translate legal language, medical language, literature, poetry, songs, news… I even got to translate a new Spanish play into English. If I had seen myself, before I started the course, sitting in a theatre watching a play I’d just translated I would have thought, ‘Is this some kind of dream?’ Doing this course has radically affected the way I think about everything. And that’s invaluable. I don’t think I’ll ever look back.

Find out about our MA in Translation
Joanne Walker