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Case Study

Stefanie Deri

Budapest, Hungary


After hearing about the University of Sunderland's MA TESOL Distance Learning course, Stefanie Deri knew this was exactly what she was looking for – the duration and flexibility of the course appealed to her. Since graduation, Stefanie became more confident, and although teaching is her passion, she now has a day job as a TV news presenter. She is still teaching part-time and was offered a summer job at the English language camp in Budapest.

I graduated from a business university in Budapest in 2011, where I originally studied Business and Marketing. However, I realised that what I really loved was teaching.

Thanks to my parents, I have always had a passion to develop myself professionally. I attended conferences abroad where I learned to improve my presentation skills and learn communication methods, which is absolutely essential for teaching. I also wanted to develop the way I speak and read to an audience, so I took up a voice coaching course. In the meantime, I started working at the American International School of Budapest as a substitute teacher.

As I was enjoying teaching so much, I decided to study further to extend my professional skills and knowledge, and to gain even more experience worldwide. This was when I discovered the University of Sunderland. I had been searching for years for an appropriate MA course and after speaking to a colleague who had studied the MA TESOL (DL) at the University of Sunderland, I knew that this was exactly what I was looking for. I immediately Googled Sunderland and I started to put together my application. The duration and flexibility of the degree really appealed to me.

I would definitely recommend the University of Sunderland to other students. At first, I was a little bit worried about the course being delivered via distance learning. I have never studied this way before and I wasn't sure how I was going to be able to synchronise my current life and work with my studies. On the other hand, I was very excited, and from day one, it went so smoothly. We have received an enormous amount of support from our module leaders and tutors. I think the communication between the students and the lecturers is excellent – no matter where you are, you can always get in touch with any of them.

I never felt lonely or lost during my studies, although the MA TESOL (DL) course isn't easy. When I faced difficulties, I always emailed my tutor who was the greatest help during this journey. Whenever I felt demotivated or unenthusiastic, they always managed to get me through the hard times and support me with useful links, websites, information, or simply kind words. The same applies to my fellow students who were in the same situation as me. Online discussions were always an option – whenever we had a question or problem to solve, we simply posted it on Canvas, the Virtual Learning Environment, and in no time, everything was resolved. It's nice when you have others who can motivate you when you feel down or exhausted.

If you would like to learn different teaching methods, new strategies, the latest teaching trends, and international and intercultural understanding, then the University of Sunderland is for you. I think you definitely get more than what you pay for. Sunderland helps you to become a forward-thinking teacher who understands the individual needs and cultural differences of the next generation.

Since graduation, I have become much more confident. Although teaching is still my passion, I now have a day job as a TV news presenter. I still teach part-time and I was offered a summer job at the English language camp of the American International School of Budapest, where I will teach English as an Additional Language to students.

After all the times I studied from morning till night, reading tons of different books, writing thousands of words, having great conversations with fellow students, receiving positive feedback for my work, seeing how much I improved and getting better grades, I can tell you it is definitely worth the effort! And the best feeling is that you come out of it all with a teaching qualification. From now on, I can teach whenever and wherever I want in the world!"

Published 16 May 2019

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