Lorin D'Costa

Why did you choose to study Dutch in general and at UCL in specific

My mother is Belgian, and had always wished to be able to speak Dutch with my family there. Of course most of them could speak English, but I found that I was able to learn so much more about my family and their culture purely because they could narrate to me in their own language.

What did you like most about your degree programme?

The intensiveness. At school, for both GCSE and A-level, language learning sometimes appeared a bit slow and stilted. At university, the emphasis is on learning quickly and tackling the language head on from the beginning.

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

I found it to be very enjoyable. The courses utilised a whole variety of methods, and the Dutch department has a large annex in the UCL main library so students are never short of materials to use. Being a relatively small department, each student gets to know the others very well over the course of the 4 year degree and because they all have the same goal (to learn Dutch!) it is more advantageous for language development than being in a very large department.

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

My personal my aim from studying Dutch was due to family reasons (point 1) and in this respect, it has been an unqualified success. Also, I have been able to play for a Dutch chess team (schaakteam utrecht, http://www.jeugdteam.nl/) and practice frequently with Dutch friends from there and also from my erasmus year abroad. Finally, Im considering getting a job in Belgium/Holland in the future where the language would come in very useful.

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

Studying Dutch at UCL in London has many advantages, as London is such a diverse, metropolitan city that one can take a look at the Dutch influence in London which wouldn't be possible if studying at a smaller university in a suburban area.

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