Maria Carballo

Maria, a Spanish-born Customer Services Assistant at The University of Manchester Library, attended the Academic Support Programme at the University Centre for Academic English (UCAE).

Maria Carballo

Why did you choose the Academic Support Programme at the UCAE?

As a Customer Services Assistant at the University’s Library I interact with students from all over the world.

I wanted to improve my English, and while I was attending an English Language workshop, someone told me about Insessional. It was just what I needed. I was thinking about going back to university to complete my studies so Insessional was a great programme to help me with my communication skills and also to immerse myself in academic English.

What did you find most helpful about the service?

There are four different classes: Pronunciation, Academic Speaking and Listening, Academic Writing, and Grammar. All of them are very helpful when English is not your first language.

Is there anything that surprised you about the Academic Support Programme?

Yes. All of the teachers are extremely supportive, patient and engaging. Also, the classes are very practical so we can practise what we have learnt. There are multiple venues and times for the same class so it is very easy to find the time to attend.

Another important thing: I discovered the Academic Phrase Bank, a very useful guide for academic writing.

How has the service helped you and your future career plans?

Extremely. I couldn’t finish my degree in Spain and it’s something I have always wanted to do.

At 51 years old, I have found it very difficult to go back to university. Everything has changed - new technologies, social media, new ways of teaching, not to mention the language barrier. Insessional has given me the skills needed to achieve my goal. I feel more confident with my English and ready to go back to university.

Why would you recommend the Academic Support Programme?

Whether English is your first language or not, Insessional is a great programme to help you to develop your academic language skills.