I moved to the UK from Romania on my own when I was 16. I always dreamed of studying and working in the UK. My parents used to send me to summer camps in places like Devon, which stole my heart; I always loved England. Everyone is so nice and polite – I know it’s a stereotype, but it’s true! I’ve been here nearly five years, so Essex is my home now.
Essex is the only university that offers translation, interpreting and subtitling all in one course; usually you have to pick one. I really enjoyed studying them in my undergraduate degree, and I didn’t want to limit myself at this point in my career. It’s better to have all the options now, rather than regretting that I wasn’t able to do them all. Later, I can specialise.
There are lots of options for me after I finish. The course involves things like medical and legal translating and interpreting, and you can go into careers with organisations like the police or the civil service. That could be difficult, because you would be working with people who aren’t very well or who are in trouble, but it’s definitely a great opportunity. At the moment I’m considering going into subtitling, because it’s not like interpreting, which is really time-pressured and puts you on the spot; with subtitling you can go back and rethink and edit it. But I’m not sure what I really want to do yet, so it’s nice that I have plenty of options.
I have a tattoo that says, 'intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings'. Basically, if you don’t work hard, no matter how clever you are you won’t get what you want in life. It’s something my dad taught me. It was hard for my parents when I moved to another country at the age of 16, but they were always supportive of my dreams. Being here in the UK has been a fantastic journey, and I wouldn’t change any of it.