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Case Study

Stefanie Deri

Budapest, Hungary


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

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

Thanks to my parents I have always had a passion to develop myself professionally. First, I attended conferences abroad; I learned to improve my presentation skills, and to deal with 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. At the meantime, I have started working at the American International School of Budapest as a substitute teacher.

As I was enjoying teaching so much, I decided to study even further to extend my professional skills and knowledge and to gain even more experience worldwide. That was the time when I finally found Sunderland. I remember that I had been searching for years for the appropriate MA course and after speaking to a colleague who had studied the MA TESOL Distance Learning course 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 file for the course. I liked the duration of the course, I liked its flexibility and certainly, the expenses of the course were appealing compared to other similar courses.

I would definitely recommend the University of Sunderland to other students. At first, I was a little bit worried about the type of course as it was a distance-learning. I have never studied like this before and I was not sure how I was going to be able to synchronize my current life and work with my new studies. On the other hand, I was very excited. To be honest from day one it went so smoothly. The Canvas site is very straightforward and clear. We have received an enormous amount of support from the teachers, module leaders and tutors. I think communication works excellently between the students and the teachers, no matter where you are or what you do, you can always get in touch with any of the instructors of the course.

I never felt lonely or lost during my studies although the MA course is not easy. When I faced difficulties I always emailed my tutor who was the greatest help during this journey. Whenever I felt unmotivated or unenthusiastic, they always managed to get me over the hard times and support me with useful links, websites, information or just simply kind words. The same applies to my fellow students who were in the same shoes as I was. Online discussions were always an option; whenever we had a question or problem to solve we just simply posted on Canvas and in no time everything was resolved. It is nice when you have others who can motivate you and cheer you up 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-minded teacher who understands the individual needs and cultural differences of the next generation.

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

After all those weekends when you studied from morning till night, reading tons of pages of different books, writing thousands of words from month to month, having great conversations with your fellow colleagues, receiving positive feedback for your work, having seen how much you have improved from one assignment to another and getting better and better grades I can tell it is definitely worth the effort! And the best feeling is that you get a teaching passport. From now on, I can teach whenever and wherever I want in the world!"

Published 16 May 2019

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