2 min read

Student Diary | A Day in the Life of a Linguistics Student

Student Diary | A Day in the Life of a Linguistics Student

by James

Curious to find out what a typical day is like for a Linguistics with Japanese student? Find out why James chose to study his course, and what he thinks of the reality of student life...

The nature of this course means that your schedule can be a little more hectic than some of your other friends at university, who might have less contact hours, especially during first year. I actually like this, though - it helps me stay in a good routine for the entire week. Now that I'm in my fourth year (my final undergraduate year after a year abroad in Japan), things are a little calmer - but I'm still busy! Here's a typical day for me...


It just so happens that most of my Japanese seminars start at 9:00 or 10:00, so I'm always up bright and early. Living in the ever popular Jesmond area, I can either wake myself up with a 15-20 minute walk onto campus, or hop on the Metro to get to my seminar in about 10 minutes if I'm running late! 


The Japanese classes have every lesson for the year planned on a schedule provided at the start of the semester, so I always know exactly what we'll be covering in the hour, for example a new grammar aspect such as the conditional form, or a conversation topic like how to give your opinion about something in Japanese. We spend the hour working through exercises based on our core textbook, mostly taking turns in pairs with our seminar leader (the sensei) guiding and correcting us. It's a really close-knit course as not many people study Japanese, so we all get along really well, and the seminars always feel like a safe space to make mistakes and learn from them with the help of your classmates.


I often have an hour or two in between my Japanese seminars and the next thing on my timetable, a Linguistics seminar. The gaps between classes are a great chance to meet a friend for coffee, grab something to eat, or go to see a lecturer during their office hours if I want to clarify anything from the week before. The Percy building, which is the School of English's home, has loads of great collaborative spaces to work in, so I'll often go in to consolidate my assigned reading before the start of a lecture.


Linguistics seminar - these are the more stereotypical lecture layout of sitting in a bigger hall and having a lecturer lead the hour on a certain topic, for example, the orthography of Old English, or how accents differ between age groups in various areas of the UK.


Once lectures are done, I'll go through what I've learnt that day and make a sort of 'game plan' of what I need to get done. I often end up attending events that are run either by the Students' Union or the University's many societies, too. After dinner and some unwinding with my flatmates, it's time for some Japanese vocabulary practice in preparation for the next day's seminar. And then it's off to bed for me - I need a good nine hours or I'm a real zombie!


Interested in finding out more about studying Linguistics with Japanese at Newcastle University? Discover the practicalities of our degrees, career prospects, and opportunities to study abroad in our Linguistics with Chinese or Japanese subject page.