Starting a Translation Master’s: Coming Back to Stirling

The new semester kicks off next week at Stirling (more on that topic very soon…) and, as well as welcoming back returning undergraduates and a new cohort of 1st year French students, it’s also time for our taught MRes in Translation Studies and our MSc in Translation with TESOL to start up for the new academic year.

September 2013 sees the arrival of a new colleague, Dr Saihong Li, as Programme Director for both these courses and we hope Saihong will settle in well here at Stirling. We’re also welcoming back a few of our own recent graduates as postgraduate students of Translation, including Fiona Mears, who graduated last year in French and English and will be starting her MSc in Translation with TESOL after a year spent living and working in France. Here’s Fiona’s account of what she’s been up to since graduation and what brings her back to Stirling.:

“On my graduation day back in June 2012, I couldn’t quite believe that four years of hard work – and a fair amount of play – were over. Whilst I felt sad to be leaving, I knew I’d be back. Truth be told, I was ready to take a much-needed break from studying and swap Scotland for France once again, this time to start a new adventure as an English Language Assistant in Lycée Henri Poincaré in Nancy.

This turned out to be a great decision, and the whole experience was so much better than I’d hoped it would be. Yes, it was challenging at times. One thing I didn’t realise was that I would effectively be left to my own devices to construct lesson plans and deliver lessons on my own. Slightly daunting at first, I must admit! I would soon discover that, generally speaking, motivating and encouraging French pupils to speak English is no easy task, yet this made it all the more rewarding to watch their trust and confidence grow as time went on. In contrast to my Erasmus days in Perpignan where I was very much part of an international community, I was much more connected with the French way of life in Nancy. I learned a lot during my time as an assistant, and met some great people along the way.

It was this experience that steered me in the direction of the MSc in Translation Studies with TESOL back at Stirling University. I sent away my application and swiftly received confirmation that I had been accepted for my dream course. Things were looking pretty good, but one major obstacle stood in my way: money.

I honestly had no idea how I would scrape together enough money to pay the fees, or indeed cover living costs while I was studying. But I was determined to find a way to make it work, even if that meant working the equivalent of a full-time job. I decided early on to do some research into sources of funding, and came across the Carnegie-Cameron Taught Postgraduate Bursary. I later discovered that the university had been offered four bursaries for the coming year, and so I sent in an application. Figuring that there would be hundreds of applicants, I didn’t hold out too much hope. Several weeks later, though, I got the fantastic news that my application had been successful. Needless to say, I’m over the moon, and feel so grateful to the Trust for giving me the breathing space to concentrate on my studies instead of worrying about finances.

This leaves me to look forward to seeing everyone again and to getting back to student life in September. But for now, having sorted out a part-time job for when I get back to Stirling, I can sit back and enjoy the last few weeks of summer.”

Congratulations to Fiona on the Carnegie-Cameron bursary and best of luck to all our Translation students for the coming year!