My name is Katherine, and I am a research Masters student in the School of Languages, Cultures and
Linguistics. I began my undergraduate degree in Spanish and Linguistics in UCD in 2015, followed
by my current research masters course in 2020.

I have always been particularly passionate about Spanish, as I began studying it in my primary school
years, which ultimately led me to studying Spanish in secondary school, before beginning my
university studies. When I applied for UCD, I was certain that I wanted to study Spanish, but I found
selecting my second and third subjects to be quite challenging. I thought about what I was passionate
about, and what would complement my love for Spanish. After thinking about this, I chose to study
Sociology in first year, along with Linguistics. I loved all three subjects in first year, as they gave me
a real look into some very interesting areas of study that would later direct my interests.

After my first year, I had to select two subjects, and I chose Spanish and Linguistics. Studying
Linguistics was very new to me in my first year, and I remember feeling quite apprehensive about
choosing this subject to begin with, as I didn’t have any prior knowledge of the subject, and I thought
it might be quite a challenge. However, as I delved into the subject I was introduced to an array of
fascinating topics. These ranged from the structure of language, patterns of sounds in language, the
sociological aspects of language, translation studies, through to language acquisition and impairment.
As well as being fascinated by these areas of study, I found Linguistics was a great option for me
because it really complemented Spanish. Specifically, Syntax modules regarding the structure of
language provided me with a concrete knowledge of the rules that govern language, which really
helped my understanding of how the Spanish language and system of grammar functions.

As I progressed through the years of my degree, my interests in Spanish and Linguistics grew
stronger. However, one of the most pivotal moments in my studies in terms of consolidating my
interests was my third year, when I spent a year studying in Valencia, Spain. I found this to be a truly
enriching experience, in which I was crucially able to immerse myself in Valencian culture. This
allowed me to develop my confidence in my Spanish language skills, as well as my cultural
awareness. As a student in a Spanish university, I was able to study a number of language, culture and
linguistics modules through Spanish, which introduced me to a range of areas of study that really
struck a chord with me. In particular, I studied a History of Art module, which introduced me to
Spanish art history; a subject I had never studied before but which fascinated me.

Upon returning to UCD in my final year, I studied a surrealism module through Spanish, which really
strengthened the interests I had discovered in Spain. This module really caught my attention, and
introduced me to some captivating artists, which ultimately led me to undertaking my current degree;
a research degree focusing on the art and literature of a female surrealist artist.

I would really recommend studying Languages and Linguistics in UCD as it gives students a real look
into some fascinating areas of study, and I think being able to speak a language (as well as having
cultural awareness skills) is an invaluable skill to have. Above all, I would highly encourage students
to take advantage of study abroad opportunities, as they are truly shaping experiences that can open
you up to a world of opportunities.

If you would like to ask Katherine a question and any of our Student Ambassadors go to: