Shaquille Kabba

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The support from my personal tutors and their readiness to help me throughout was a pleasant surprise!

When the final weeks of my A Level studies were approaching, I was excited about starting university, yet equally nervous, as many college students are. But wondering whether I had made the right choice in my studies, I decided to take a break from education. Working as a bartender enabled me to save enough money for travel in South East Asia, South America and multiple countries in Europe. The combination of my pre-existing interest in English Literature with my newfound curiosity in other languages and desire to travel made my future transparent for the first time in my life: I would teach English around the world!

Returning to education after so much time out seemed daunting, so I decided to do a Foundation year to rebuild my confidence and both introduce me to and prepare me for the standard of studying a degree. My decision was truly justified as my experience of the Foundation Year was incredibly helpful in not only restoring my confidence in writing but refining it with sophistication and style. I was always told that university studies require much more independence, which is true, so the support from my personal tutors and their readiness to help me throughout was a pleasant surprise! The fact I am still in contact with them as I enter my third year of study speaks for itself.

I was also introduced to Goldsmiths’ ‘Learn a Language’ programme where I met a foreign Goldsmiths’ student who tutors me in Japanese and I, in turn, tutor in English. This easily became the highlight of my Foundation Year and gave impetus to my decision to teach and live in Japan for several years after my graduation.

Starting my Foundation Year at 23 years old allowed me to start my studies with a clear idea of what I wanted to achieve from it, yet it also opened many unexpected avenues. I still enjoy work as a bartender and my developed writing skills have given me the confidence to secure several short-term copywriting internships. I am currently in the process of building a portfolio of my experience with hopes of creating my own freelance copywriting service as a side profession to teaching. The level of my results thus far and my experience of university life have encouraged me to consider my own future role within academia. I am beginning to think about studying for a Masters degree with hopes of specialising in a field of English Literature in order to end my career as a university lecturer.