Advice for offer-holders: Choosing which department is right for you – OurWarwick

Advice for offer-holders: Choosing which department is right for you

Sophie Frankpitt | English Language and Linguistics with Intercalated year Contact Sophie

When I applied to university, I didn’t realise quite how important choosing the right department is. The best advice I could give to anyone trying to work out where to go to university is to truly get to know your department. You will spend a lot of your life over the next four years there, so it’s important to make sure that it’s one you’ll be happy in. 

Before I came to the Offer-Holder Day, I knew that I wanted to learn about the course, the outcomes for students, and how we’d be taught. I wanted objective, black-and-white facts that I could use to inform my decision. I wanted to study Linguistics, and I wanted to study at a good university that was not too close and not too far from home. And knowing these requirements is an important first step – but it is not the only thing to consider. 

What I didn’t think so much about was that choosing the right department is a lot about how it feels. I didn’t realise that coming to an Offer Holder Day isn’t just about getting all your facts together. It’s also about getting a feel for whether you fit in, or whether you fit better somewhere else. Because there might be a hundred different universities that offer your course, but each one will offer you a different experience.

For this reason, I found it most helpful to talk to lecturers and current students within the department, visit (if you can), and look at the (department-specific) social media. Get a feel for who the department is and the type of person you could be there. Once you’ve sorted out the basics like whether you actually like the course content and whether you can meet the entry requirements, the next most important thing is to work out whether your department feels like it could be, well, your department. 

In order to do that, make sure that you learn not only about the university as a whole – but about the specific course you are applying to. The courses within the universities are kind of like their own microcultures – each one can be quite different, and they hold different values and expectations.

When I came to the Warwick Offer-Holder Day, I knew that the course content looked pretty perfect for me, but I also knew that Warwick was a little further from home than I’d have liked. I had another university in mind, but I was leaning towards Warwick. And after the Offer-Holder Day, I felt quite simply that Warwick Linguistics was the right place for me, and that this was the department that I wanted to spend the next four years studying with. There was nothing wrong with the other university on my radar – it was, primarily, that the course wasn’t right for me, but another big factor was that I felt more at home at Warwick Linguistics. And feeling more at home is quite a hard thing to write into an objective pro/con list, but it’s incredibly important. 

Whilst this applies to all prospective students, if you are interested in the Linguistics world at Warwick, there are various ways to find out more. There are open days, offer holder days, we’re on social media (give Warwick Linguistics Society a follow on Instagram!), and of course, I’m always happy to answer any questions you might have.

Sophie Frankpitt | English Language and Linguistics with Intercalated year Contact Sophie

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