Adrian Ting

Why did you choose to study Scandinavian Studies in general and at UCL in specific?

As the saying goes, if I had a penny for every time I was asked this question I'd be a millionaire, and I should have been very rich by now! Well, here it is once again. I wanted to study a European language and was attracted by the fact that knowledge of one Scandinavian language will give you access to the other two - what a bargain! There was only a handful of universities in the UK that offered BA in Scandinavian Studies but UCL was the best in terms of its reputation, student life as well as teaching and research quality. What's more, it is located in the heart of London, one of the greatest cities in the world.

What did you like most about your degree programme?

What I liked most about the BA was the range of courses available. You don't just get to study your chosen language, but also courses in literature, history, film studies, translation and linguistics. I believe this balance is important in terms of gaining a thorough understanding of Scandinavia as a whole.

What was it like being a student at the Scandinavian department?

The advantage of a small department like ours is that you get to know everyone very quickly. I very much enjoyed the events organised by the Scandinavian Society, ranging from the glittering ABBA disco to chanting traditional Swedish songs in white gown on Sankta Lucia day in Gower Street and Euston station, where we famously got thrown out by security guards for busking without a license!

How has your degree been of benefit to you since you took your degree?

I work as a language instructor teaching English to undergraduates at The Hong Kong Institute of Education. Although Scandinavian Studies has little to do with English language teaching, my degree has nonetheless given me a solid background in the study of language. Just when I thought I'd never get to use my language skills in Hong Kong, I was given two 7 year old kids from Denmark who couldn't speak a word of English in my last job teaching a summer programme at an international school. In my current job, I was invited to give a talk to students who were going to spend a term in Sweden, and I finally had a chance to practice my Swedish again on the two exchange students from Stockholm when the three of us were put in charge of organising a Swedish evening after the talk.

Anything else you want to add about your experience at UCL or your career since leaving UCL?

After 4 years of juggling between a rigorous degree programme, a part-time job and a hectic social life, I am able to work well under pressure and meet deadlines without pulling my hair out!

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