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Jessica Brandham


Having just finished my A-Levels in Maths, French and Chemistry at Franklin last summer, I’m so happy to now be a first year student of French and Linguistics at The University of Edinburgh. From my first ever visit to Scotland for the Edinburgh open day last year, I got a great feeling about the city. Filled with Hogwarts-like buildings, homely bagpipes and a warm Scottish atmosphere, I knew straight away Edinburgh was the place my heart was. Even more so, the prospect of continuing languages for a further four years in such an international city was something that truly excited me!

At Edinburgh, you study three subjects in first and second year; the Scottish system is so flexible. This year, I’ve decided to take beginners German as an outside subject, along with my main subjects of French and Linguistics. This makes every day so exciting as the courses are so diverse! For example; in one lecture I could be learning about the structure of the oral cavity and how it works to produce sounds, the next I could be learning how to pronounce some of the insanely long words of German, to another where I could be watching a French film (such as Lacombe Lucien) based on a true historic event - translating and analyzing it. Edinburgh really brings languages to life in every aspect; the lecturers are so enthusiastic and down-to-earth!

In truth, it hasn’t really sunk in that I’m here yet; it’s such a beautiful city, jam packed with culture, opportunity and so many fascinating people from all over the world. I’ve met some great friends and felt at home here from day one; even the little things like hearing bagpipes and seeing people in kilts when I walk home from uni are so exciting!

Above all though, I truly believe that the encouragement and optimism of the MFL department at Franklin is the reason I’ve been lucky enough to get the opportunity to study a subject I love, in a place I feel so happy in. Every MFL lesson at Franklin was something to look forward to and made learning French really fun. The entire class made so much progress over the two years and having a brilliant teacher helped us all to achieve so much more than we believed we could. Languages was the most rewarding subject for me, as every ounce of work you put in was so worth it. Being able to speak another language also opens so many doors and changes your perception of the world. It makes you adventurous, dedicated and open-minded; ready to embrace challenge and appreciate the world around you. Without doubt, the decision to take A-Level French is something I’ll never regret and thanks to the massive help of the fantastic MFL department at Franklin, my dream of studying at Edinburgh became a reality, something I'll always be grateful for.


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