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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Interested in applying to the UGOTY Languages Award? We had a catch up with our Winner, Aysel!


After some very busy summer months travelling around and expanding what will be my infinite repertoire of useful and not-so-useful expressions in foreign languages, I have finally arrived in Copenhagen to undertake my LLM in Human Right Law.

It has been a very busy time for me after winning the Languages Undergraduate of the Year award all the way back in April. Immediately after the incredible ceremony in East Wintergarden, where I got to meet the lovely people working at different EU institutions, I had to get back into study mode as my exams were fast approaching. Thankfully, there was my visit to Brussels to look forward to, not to mention an additional trip to the EU offices in London! It was completely unexpected and a very kind gesture by everyone on the EU team to arrange an additional part of the trip. They put in a lot of effort to rearrange events and work their schedule around mine, just so I could get more exposure to their work in various locations. It was both incredibly flattering and very humbling to be in the presence of so many very accomplished individuals, who were taking time off their busy schedules to spend it with me.

The visit to Brussels itself was an action-packed three-day trip, whereby I probably visited more EU institutions in 72 hours than most of the people working for the EU do in the first few months of their employment. Since my preferred destinations were kindly asked for before my arrival, my whole time in the city was spent meeting what I thought were the most interesting people and participating in what seemed like the most engaging conferences. Everything from law to refugees, to new EU regulations that were coming into place, and even a lovely lunch with David Barfield was in place for me. Once more, I felt tremendously privileged to be where I was: in the heart of Europe and its legal machinery amidst the most impressive individuals from all over the continent. I would really love to thank everyone who made my trip as special and insightful as it was for all their effort and encourage every person out there with an interest in languages to apply. Just going through the application process is an eye-opening experience, whilst getting to the final stages is an incredible opportunity to meet remarkable individuals from all over the country who share the same passion as you.

Today, I am in Copenhagen to undertake my LLM, a decision, which has come to be thanks to the Erasmus programme, yet another EU initiative. Coming here for a year, meeting the country’s people and picking up the local language, was so incredible that I had to return. I am now studying Danish intensively alongside my studies, whilst also taking final level Spanish upon a reassurance by someone on the EU team that it wouldn’t be that hard. I took the challenge and although it is proving difficult at times, I love the feeling of excitement and deep achievement I get every time I commit a new vocabulary word to my memory. Thank you, TARGETjobs and EU Careers for once again reminding me how much I love languages and seeing me worthy of this incredible award!

Register for the 2016 Undergraduate of the Year awards now.