2020 applicants
We Are Essex

Kirstie's story

Headshot of Kirstie

"I just really like just being around books, it makes me feel knowledgeable, like there’s so much information coming my way"

I chose to do TEFL at Essex because I want to go and teach in other countries and travel and teaching is a very good job to do while traveling. I mainly want to teach in South Korea, or Japan. Possibly China if I can pick up Chinese? I’m applying to do a summer course where you go abroad for 3 weeks and study Chinese so I’ve applied to do that and if that’s a success then maybe China.

I wanted to live at home whilst at uni, so I looked for courses that were close but also suited me and the main thing I wanted to do was a year abroad. Essex was one of the ones that I found had the best course to offer. TEFL courses, even though they’re pretty much the same thing, they offer it differently at different universities and some have a more broad focus. I quite like that the course here is based on everything, like you go through linguistics departments as well as just teaching so you get a good variety of stuff.

I have a lot of hobbies, too many hobbies! I do Cosplay, I’ve been doing it for like 3 or 4 years. That’s why I’m poor! I found it from just anime, social media finding stuff like that and thought ‘yeah, this is cool’. And because I’d done acting at school and I liked making costumes when I was at school I was like ‘ah this fits my life so perfectly’. In my gap years of Uni I didn’t save, I just spent my money on making costumes. So I’ve made some pretty amazing costumes that cost a lot of money and a lot of time and a lot of techniques and skills which I harvest from my junior years doing textiles. Cosplay is pretty popular in Japan. In fact there’s a specific location in Japan that everyone travels to for this huge Cosplay event and it’s basically just the whole street is filled with Cosplayers. It’s like a festival almost. It’s pretty cool. So I think I’d definitely keep up Cosplaying over there.

So, I like South Korea. I like K-Pop and all that stuff, so I found a band called BTS. I don’t know if you’ve heard of them – you might have, they’re quite global now. They’re very hardworking, dedicated people and they connect with their fans on a very human level. It’s not idol vs the fan, it’s more human to human. So they’re very inspiring people for a lot of reasons and I was very motivated to sort my life out because I could see how they’ve achieved by working hard so I was like, ‘I could do that too’.

I also do pole dancing here at Essex. When I was younger I used to do ballet so when I saw that pole dancing was a thing here I was like, ‘yeah that looks really exciting’, and then I saw someone that I follow on Instagram does pole dancing and she kind of inspired me. It looked really fun and cool, and I thought ‘yeah, I’ll give it a go’. I play guitar as well and listen to a lot of music too.

I also study languages myself because I really like learning languages. It’s one of the other reasons that I wanted to do TEFL because, not only do I get to teach English but I get to learn the languages that I teach English to. I really like Korean languages in general and same for Japanese. I’ve been studying Japanese since I started here because I took the ‘Languages For All’ course which I really recommend everyone does because it’s so good. It’s just 2 hours on one of your evenings and then you can just pick and choose when you want to do it for the rest of the week, it’s a lot of fun. I’ve wanted to learn Japanese for a long time but I wasn’t very confident with it because I think some languages are kind of intimidating to look at, like Chinese, Japanese, Korean - it’s all character based so you’re learning a whole new alphabet. It can be quite intimidating but it’s been a lot of fun.

I pretty much spend about 80% of my time when I’m not at work or in classes in the library. It’s so good. I usually stay there until like ten o clock if I’ve got things to do. So I’ll go in the afternoon and stay there for like 6 or 7 hours. I just really like just being around books, it makes me feel knowledgeable, like there’s so much information coming my way. So yeah, I love the library. My boyfriend brings me snacks to the library, he does it a lot. He comes in with snacks for me and I’m just sitting there working and he taps me on the shoulder and is like ‘hey’ - it’s very cute, just what you need after a long day of studying.

It’s not my quote but “teamwork makes the dream work” I kind of believe that’s true. Before I came to uni I was working in a pub, I still do, I still work for the same company. One thing I learnt is that if you don’t work together nothing gets done. You’re there until 3am unless you work together to get things done.


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