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    Hi,
    I'm really struggling to decide where to firm out of Durham and Leeds. I have an offer from Durham of AAB to study Japanese and I have an offer from Leeds to study BA Chinese and Japanese (5 year course with 2 years abroad) for BBB if I firm it and pass the Access to Leeds module, and if not, the offer is AAB. Durham's a more prestigious uni compared to Leeds, smaller and safer, however Leeds has more contact hours for the language, I'd have a degree in both Japanese and Chinese, two years abroad etc. Any advice or help would be appreciated!
    Thanks!
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    Go to Durham. Once you graduate the University prestige is what counts.
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    (Original post by nase14_aldayz)
    Go to Durham. Once you graduate the University prestige is what counts.
    Thanks for the reply. Really? Some people have told me to not just go somewhere because of the prestige but I'm really not sure because others, such as yourself, have told me that prestige is everything. Surely it would be better for employers if I were fluent at two languages (at degree level) rather than just one?
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    (Original post by reenie.stp)
    Thanks for the reply. Really? Some people have told me to not just go somewhere because of the prestige but I'm really not sure because others, such as yourself, have told me that prestige is everything. Surely it would be better for employers if I were fluent at two languages (at degree level) rather than just one?
    No problem. Try to look at the bigger picture, at the moment the choice is between two languages at degree level or going to a more prestigious university.

    A degree from a more prestigious university will open more doors for you later on, it's all employers really look at. At the moment you're set on those two languages, but later on you may decide that you should have chosen a different second language, or perhaps a management degree with a language. The idea that your career path will be perfectly set out beyond university is unlikely when studying languages.

    Best to be safe with a degree from a better university, and remember those languages aren't going anywhere, you could always spend a year abroad to help develop your language skills more.
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    (Original post by nase14_aldayz)
    No problem. Try to look at the bigger picture, at the moment the choice is between two languages at degree level or going to a more prestigious university.

    A degree from a more prestigious university will open more doors for you later on, it's all employers really look at. At the moment you're set on those two languages, but later on you may decide that you should have chosen a different second language, or perhaps a management degree with a language. The idea that your career path will be perfectly set out beyond university is unlikely when studying languages.

    Best to be safe with a degree from a better university, and remember those languages aren't going anywhere, you could always spend a year abroad to help develop your language skills more.
    Not to sound bad, but how do you know that employers only look at the prestige of the university that you've gone to? I've read articles that say it's not the only thing that they look at. They're not the only two languages that I'd be able to speak - I also speak German and Spanish. I know that my career path won't be set out exactly, but I'd say that's the same for any degree, not just languages e.g I know people who have studied medicine but then decided that it actually wasn't for them.

    I know the languages aren't going anywhere, but at the same time people have told me that employers in IB, for example, look favourably upon graduates who can speak Chinese and other languages of countries with important economies (e.g Japan). A banker told me this himself; I did apply for Oxford but I was rejected post interview, and he said it wasn't the be-all and the end-all. (I didn't tell him I'd been accepted to Durham as I hadn't at that point but I had told him about Leeds.)

    People are just telling me completely different things about whether or not prestige really matters and I don't know if skills would be more valuable to an employer.
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    (Original post by reenie.stp)
    Not to sound bad, but how do you know that employers only look at the prestige of the university that you've gone to? I've read articles that say it's not the only thing that they look at. They're not the only two languages that I'd be able to speak - I also speak German and Spanish. I know that my career path won't be set out exactly, but I'd say that's the same for any degree, not just languages e.g I know people who have studied medicine but then decided that it actually wasn't for them.

    I know the languages aren't going anywhere, but at the same time people have told me that employers in IB, for example, look favourably upon graduates who can speak Chinese and other languages of countries with important economies (e.g Japan). A banker told me this himself; I did apply for Oxford but I was rejected post interview, and he said it wasn't the be-all and the end-all. (I didn't tell him I'd been accepted to Durham as I hadn't at that point but I had told him about Leeds.)

    People are just telling me completely different things about whether or not prestige really matters and I don't know if skills would be more valuable to an employer.
    Sure, it's not the only thing that they look at, but it takes priority in reality. I say this because I've worked with a number of people who are in jobs that have no connection to their degree. However, they were all bright and all went to good universities, so make of that what you will.

    My point is you can be a graduate from Durham with the option of taking on more languages and working on your skills later on, it's not a race to get into work.

    If you're looking to go into the financial sector the recruiters in that line of work are extremely ruthless with the process and I know that a Durham grad with a good degree will fair well in the early stages.
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    (Original post by reenie.stp)
    Thanks for the reply. Really? Some people have told me to not just go somewhere because of the prestige but I'm really not sure because others, such as yourself, have told me that prestige is everything. Surely it would be better for employers if I were fluent at two languages (at degree level) rather than just one?
    Prestige is not what all that counts at all. Either Leeds and Durham are both good Russell group uni's. I personally find Durham a bit overrated and nowhere near Oxbridge, despite how they try to portray themselves.
    Think about it, 2 years abroad of first hand experience on your CV sounds so much more amazing than just having your unversity and grades to an employer.
    Go for where you think you'll get more opportunities to succeed and really stand out.
    It's so competative with employment these days that a university alone will not cut it - Durham is not on par with Oxbridge.
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    Have you made your decision yet?
    It is a very difficult one especially as the courses are different too.Good luck
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    (Original post by tcameron)
    Prestige is not what all that counts at all. Either Leeds and Durham are both good Russell group uni's. I personally find Durham a bit overrated and nowhere near Oxbridge, despite how they try to portray themselves.
    Think about it, 2 years abroad of first hand experience on your CV sounds so much more amazing than just having your unversity and grades to an employer.
    Go for where you think you'll get more opportunities to succeed and really stand out.
    It's so competative with employment these days that a university alone will not cut it - Durham is not on par with Oxbridge.
    Thanks for your response and sorry for the late reply! I tried for Oxford but I got rejected once I'd been interviewed. I always thought 2 years abroad would sound impressive to an employer, plus the ability to speak both Chinese and Japanese fluently. I'm going to look at Durham soon so I'm going to ask them how much Chinese I'd be able to take there alongside the Japanese, but obviously it wouldn't involve a year abroad. It's just such a hard decision to be honest.
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    (Original post by nase14_aldayz)
    Sure, it's not the only thing that they look at, but it takes priority in reality. I say this because I've worked with a number of people who are in jobs that have no connection to their degree. However, they were all bright and all went to good universities, so make of that what you will.

    My point is you can be a graduate from Durham with the option of taking on more languages and working on your skills later on, it's not a race to get into work.

    If you're looking to go into the financial sector the recruiters in that line of work are extremely ruthless with the process and I know that a Durham grad with a good degree will fair well in the early stages.
    Someone told me that a lot of the major accounting firms don't really care about where you did your degree so long as you have at least a 2:1 - but I could stand corrected?!
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    (Original post by swissy9)
    Have you made your decision yet?
    It is a very difficult one especially as the courses are different too.Good luck
    Nope, I really haven't made my decision yet. I'm even more stuck than I was before to be honest. I'm going to actually look at Durham soon so hopefully that should help with the decision. I really have no idea which one would be the better option.
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    (Original post by reenie.stp)
    Nope, I really haven't made my decision yet. I'm even more stuck than I was before to be honest. I'm going to actually look at Durham soon so hopefully that should help with the decision. I really have no idea which one would be the better option.
    I think both are well respected options, my brothers girlfriend did a degree in French and Spanish, she got a job in London with Lloyds Bank, who require graduates to have 2 languages minimum.She turned down and offer at Oxford to study French as she really wanted to study both and went to Bristol.
    So I am sure a degree in Chinese and Japanese would put you in an excellent position for the future when employers are sifting through thousands of applications it will help you stand out.
    Good luck with your decision
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    (Original post by swissy9)
    I think both are well respected options, my brothers girlfriend did a degree in French and Spanish, she got a job in London with Lloyds Bank, who require graduates to have 2 languages minimum.She turned down and offer at Oxford to study French as she really wanted to study both and went to Bristol.
    So I am sure a degree in Chinese and Japanese would put you in an excellent position for the future when employers are sifting through thousands of applications it will help you stand out.
    Good luck with your decision
    Hi,
    Thanks for your reply and sorry for the late reply. Yeah, I always thought a degree in Chinese and Japanese would be quite unique to be honest whereas there will be lots of people who have degrees in just Japanese coming from places like Oxbridge, Durham, Edinburgh and then others with a degree in Japanese and a european language/other subject e.g Cardiff, Leeds. I spent the past few days in Durham and went to talks yesterday at the language department. I really wasn't impressed with one of the Japanese lecturers to be honest - they were incredibly condescending - and all seemed to lack enthusiasm. The talk for Japanese was shared with Chinese Studies and the talk lasted a total of 30 minutes - they barely touched on anything to do with either course but definitely spent more time talking about the Chinese Studies degree. It's made me want to firm Leeds more than anything else because the staff were way more enthusiastic there. Have you heard anything from Durham?
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    We seem to be similar!
    Like you, I too have an offer from Durham to study Chinese, and I have also received an offer to study Chinese with International Business at Leeds. With Durham I would receive a slightly lower degree from a more prestigious university, with Leeds I would receive a better degree from 'not-as-prestigious' university (compared to Durham).
    You are correct in saying the talk at Durham was quite short and didn't give as much information as i'd hoped, however after talking to the Chinese teacher alone, she really seemed enthusiastic about her course....Based on that discussion I have chosen to firm Durham.


    At the end of the day it's all about what you want....
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    (Original post by AB333_)
    We seem to be similar!
    Like you, I too have an offer from Durham to study Chinese, and I have also received an offer to study Chinese with International Business at Leeds. With Durham I would receive a slightly lower degree from a more prestigious university, with Leeds I would receive a better degree from 'not-as-prestigious' university (compared to Durham).
    You are correct in saying the talk at Durham was quite short and didn't give as much information as i'd hoped, however after talking to the Chinese teacher alone, she really seemed enthusiastic about her course....Based on that discussion I have chosen to firm Durham.


    At the end of the day it's all about what you want....
    I see what you mean. I have heard a lot of people say it's better to pair the language with something else like International Business. Unfortunately I'm not taking Chinese at Durham (I thought the Chinese teacher was the nicest one out of the three there). The head of Japanese there (who I would probably see quite a bit) really didn't seem enthusiastic about the course(s) and I would even go as far to say he seemed quite pompous, but that's just my opinion anyway. Congratulations on firming Durham! I'm sure you'll have a fabulous time there.
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    (Original post by reenie.stp)
    I see what you mean. I have heard a lot of people say it's better to pair the language with something else like International Business. Unfortunately I'm not taking Chinese at Durham (I thought the Chinese teacher was the nicest one out of the three there). The head of Japanese there (who I would probably see quite a bit) really didn't seem enthusiastic about the course(s) and I would even go as far to say he seemed quite pompous, but that's just my opinion anyway. Congratulations on firming Durham! I'm sure you'll have a fabulous time there.
    Pairing it with business is not necessary imo. Anything you'll learn in the business modules will be picked up on the job if you choose to go down a grad scheme route - employers generally don't have specific degree preferences for accounting/finance/business schemes. Something like 70% of grad jobs are similar in that respect. Best advice is to study what you're interested in, then immerse yourself in CV building activities outside of studying; including but not limited to: volunteering, leading societies, applying for internships, pursuing hobbies etc. Basically, choose the uni/degree you'll enjoy the most!

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    (Original post by Princepieman)
    Pairing it with business is not necessary imo. Anything you'll learn in the business modules will be picked up on the job if you choose to go down a grad scheme route - employers generally don't have specific degree preferences for accounting/finance/business schemes. Something like 70% of grad jobs are similar in that respect. Best advice is to study what you're interested in, then immerse yourself in CV building activities outside of studying; including but not limited to: volunteering, leading societies, applying for internships, pursuing hobbies etc. Basically, choose the uni/degree you'll enjoy the most!

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Thank you for your reply! That's what I'm intending to do - just take a straight language degree and then maybe do an accounting qualification/on the job learning afterwards. Do you think there would be a a great advantage of me going to Durham rather than Leeds because of Durham's prestigious reputation? I feel like maybe Leeds would be a better option as I'd become fluent at two major economical languages as apposed to one at Durham. I'm already proficient at Spanish and advanced-ish in German.
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    (Original post by reenie.stp)
    Thank you for your reply! That's what I'm intending to do - just take a straight language degree and then maybe do an accounting qualification/on the job learning afterwards. Do you think there would be a a great advantage of me going to Durham rather than Leeds because of Durham's prestigious reputation? I feel like maybe Leeds would be a better option as I'd become fluent at two major economical languages as apposed to one at Durham. I'm already proficient at Spanish and advanced-ish in German.
    For law/IB, yeah. For anything else, nope - aside from the dinner table discussions along the lines of: 'ahh, wow, Durham very impressive'.
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    (Original post by Princepieman)
    For law/IB, yeah. For anything else, nope - aside from the dinner table discussions along the lines of: 'ahh, wow, Durham very impressive'.
    I had a talk with a banker a few months back and said I was planning to do Chinese and Japanese at uni and he said they'd love that in a bank. He said to try to get in to Oxford but if not, don't worry - the Chinese is the important part and then added languages on top. I don't know if that applies to IB though. Some people have said even with a degree from Leeds, because of the two languages, I could go into IB/Law but then again others have said differently.
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    (Original post by reenie.stp)
    I had a talk with a banker a few months back and said I was planning to do Chinese and Japanese at uni and he said they'd love that in a bank. He said to try to get in to Oxford but if not, don't worry - the Chinese is the important part and then added languages on top. I don't know if that applies to IB though. Some people have said even with a degree from Leeds, because of the two languages, I could go into IB/Law but then again others have said differently.
    It's not really about which degree you do, that's mostly fluff. Getting into IB/Law requires you to a) be at a good uni (which Leeds is), that's preferably targeted by banks/law firms (Durham), b) have good grades (A*s, As and Bs at A-level, 2:1 or 1st etc), c) show interest/general knowledge towards the role and industry and be able to communicate it in an interview, d) have leadership skills developed by leading things, volunteering, sports, extra curricular stuff. Neither IB or Law particularly pay much attention to the degree subject, but more to who you are as a person. Although, yeah, a language degree could come in handy when dealing with international clients; you could play that angle.
 
 
 
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