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Case Study

Maria Benovia


Maria Benovia came from Greece to the UK in order to take on the MA TESOL course as she believes that it is a part of her job to teach her students not only the English language, but the culture, customs, habits, way of living and thinking, and generally give them taste of how it is to live in the UK. After graduating, Maria is now working as an English teacher in a private language centre, but she hopes that her interest in the Marine Engineering Field leads to a PhD degree.

The University of Sunderland offers a variety of courses on campus. Therefore, there were a lot of students on campus which makes Sunderland a truly student-friendly city. The City campus is only five minutes’ walk from the city centre, which is another advantage for an MA student, who doesn’t want to spend time getting on and off the buses to go to the lectures. Moreover, the fact that Sunderland is a cost-effective city added to my decision to go and study at the University.

What I liked most about the course is the availability and the real interest we as students received from the academic staff. They were always there for us, ready to offer their professional support and advice at any time, and at the same time, we were being encouraged to take initiatives, be creative and authentic as well as do so with academic precision.

With the facilitation of my professors, I have developed my ability to confidently design and choose my own teaching materials and teaching methods, and my ability to justify the reasons for my choices. Studying at the University of Sunderland was a unique experience for me. I would definitely suggest to other students to come to Sunderland.

Any prospective students need to remember that the journey to the MA is a long one, so don’t get stressed and enjoy the way! One of my favourite quotes, that I’m always trying to keep in mind, is one written by C.P. Cavafy: “Life is not about the destination… it’s about the journey”. So, you should be relaxed, be open and talk to new people and make new friends, share your thoughts and your worries with others. Eat well. Drink a lot of coffee. Exercise. And whenever feeling fed up, a walk by the river is always a good idea!

Now, I am really enjoying teaching English to children. However, I have in mind that I want to take my career a step forward and continue with a PhD degree. Thanks to my professors (and mentors at the same time) to whom I also owe my sincerest thanks and who inspired me to choose my dissertation topic, I’ve been extremely interested in the Marine Engineering English field, which is part of the English for Specific Purposes field and a distinct one from the teaching of English for General Purposes.

Studying in Sunderland was a really enjoyable experience. I made new friends and we shared moments I will never forget. 2018 was a really creative year for me and especially my lecturers, all of whom sparked my interest in continuing my studies towards a specific area of research, made my studies at the University of Sunderland a really “life-changing experience.”

Published 1 February 2019

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