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Bristol or Edinburgh for French and Spanish? watch

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    Hi guys, I've got places at both Bristol and Edinburgh to study French and Spanish and am really struggling to make the choice, especially as they have very similar reputations for languages.

    I've got some pros and cons for each but I'm still not sure so please help me out!

    Bristol
    Pros: Opportunities to work/volunteer abroad as opposed to just studying or being a language assistant, 3B offer, I loved the town, and it's much warmer than Edinburgh!
    Cons: have already read and studied a couple of the books that were on the reading list for 2010 (I don't know if they change the books every year though)

    Edinburgh:
    Pros: Get an MA (is there a difference between English and Scottish MAs?), 1/2 tuition fees, can take up a 3rd subject in first 2 years
    Cons: Year abroad options seem more restrictive. Quite a lot friends who have seen it or study there say that it's absolutely freezing, and gets dark at 2.30-3p.m. during the winter which is a huge turn off. (I know that's quite a petty con, please feel free to refute that)
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    Bristol's School of Modern Languages is going through some cuts right now which has resulted in a lot of pissed off students and staff but I can't really tell you the specifics or future of the cuts in French and Spanish, plus languages departments are suffering in a lot of places anyway.

    Which books are you talking for Spanish? Nothing seems to get covered for more than say 4 lectures anyway and it'll be at least a little different to studying it at school/on your own. Besides there's a hell of a lot to cover in the first year Spanish units so if you've already read some of the literature you may be glad of it later.

    AFAIK the MAs you automatically get from Scottish unis don't count for anything and are not seen as MAs.

    I just worked as a language assistant for 5 months and would never do it again, however that was due to the staff not the job. I really don't think I'd have enjoyed being at uni during my year abroad either, so the work option is a good thing for me. You might be totally different though (and realise you get very little/no support from Bristol in finding said work).
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    (Original post by zaba)
    Bristol
    Pros: Opportunities to work/volunteer abroad as opposed to just studying or being a language assistant, 3B offer, I loved the town, and it's much warmer than Edinburgh!
    Cons: have already read and studied a couple of the books that were on the reading list for 2010 (I don't know if they change the books every year though)
    Bristol has an average low of 8.5c and average high of 14.1c, annually. Edinburgh has an average low of 5.1c and average high of 11.08. Not a huge amount, and frankly it would be madness to justify a university choice in the UK on the weather - particularly given the academic year is during the winter!!

    (Original post by zaba)
    Edinburgh:
    Pros: Get an MA (is there a difference between English and Scottish MAs?), 1/2 tuition fees, can take up a 3rd subject in first 2 years
    Cons: Year abroad options seem more restrictive. Quite a lot friends who have seen it or study there say that it's absolutely freezing, and gets dark at 2.30-3p.m. during the winter which is a huge turn off. (I know that's quite a petty con, please feel free to refute that)
    The MA isn't worthless - it's an honours degree. But it certainly isn't a postgraduate degree. I don't believe the year abroad options are many more limited that those you have described from Bristol - I know people who didn't go to university or do language assistantships during their year abroad. It gets dark at 4pm in deepest winter, not at 2.30pm (I promise you that living somewhere it gets dark that early is truly depressing). As said above, it really is not colder in Edinburgh than anywhere else and it doesn't rain as much as it does on the west coast. To be honest, I see the true advantage of Edinburgh as being the flexibility. The outside course means you have options if it turns out French or Spanish (or indeed both) aren't for you. Most universities in England force you to drop out and reapply - Edinburgh will let you change degree. I've changed degree. Most people I know have in one way or another.
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    Thanks very much for putting my worries at rest. A very difficult decision, especially with so much hearsay etc I decided to go with Edinburgh in the end anyway, the course seemed much better and it turns out Bristol does many of the same books I've done for A level. The year abroad thing was unfounded too, the Bristol prospectus was just clearer on all the options available.

    Thanks again for the advice
 
 
 
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