“I chose Translation and Interpreting because my dream is to help people understand each other”
María Lagostena reaches the UAB with an entrance mark of 13.774, the highest entrance mark in the area of Arts and Humanities. In September she will begin the bachelor's degree in Translation and Interpreting (French), which she will combine with her sixth year of violoncello at the conservatoire.
“What most shocked me about the campus was that it's surrounded by hills. I come from a dry area and seeing so much greenery is a bit of a surprise”.
María is passionate about languages and has always known that she wanted to study in French. For this reason she decided to study the International Baccalaureate (Bachibac).
Although she is originally from Cartagena, Murcia, learning Catalan has been no problem for her. In fact, she has been studying Catalan for a year and a half now, since she made the decision to study Translation and Interpreting of French at the UAB. She tells us she can already understand and speak the language and, although she is a bit afraid of making mistakes, she's also excited about overcoming this challenge.
Your entrance mark is near perfection at 13.774 over 14. How did you prepare for the exams? Is there a magical formula?
Typically, you need to put effort into it and dedicate many hours to studying. Since I was studying the Bachibac and also studying at the conservatoire, I had to work more. The good thing is that the French exams were in May and I had more time to study for the optional exams, which are the ones that make your mark go up.
What do you do when you are not studying?
Truth is, there is not much time after I'm finished studying (laughs). Apart from secondary school, I also went to the conservatoire to study violoncello, so I did not have too much free time. Now I'm starting to find time for my hobbies: I love to draw and write, play video games and I also go on lots of hikes. I come from a small city surrounded by hills, where there are many hiking trails and castles to visit. When I was tired of studying or practising the violoncello, I would go into the hills and walk a bit. It was my escape route.
Why did you choose this bachelor's degree? Did you always know what you wanted to study?
When I began secondary education, I knew I wanted to focus on the arts, but then I decided I wanted ultimately to study French in a bilingual school. I had always studied pure sciences until I reached upper secondary school and then suddenly, I decided I wanted to study Latin and Greek. I looked for a degree which would allow me to study many languages and that is why I chose Translation and Interpreting.
Why did you choose the UAB when you live in Murcia?
Mainly because I wanted to study Japanese. I am also thinking about studying Russian and Greek, but Japanese was what most caught my eye.
First I doubted whether Madrid or Barcelona, but having the beach so close made me choose Barcelona in the end.
Choosing a degree like Translation and Interpreting, for sure you are thinking of studying abroad as well. Anywhere specific?
I would like it to be a place that is culturally very different, to be able to compare the two. Although at first it might be a shock, I think these types of experiences help to broaden your mind. While I studied the international baccalaureate in French, I had the chance to travel to France on many occasions. Now I want to go to places outside Europe, the farther the better.
What do you think about the UAB campus being so big and offering so many activities?
Since I come from quite a small city, I find it all very interesting because I will be able to do many things. What I especially like is that the campus is surrounded by hills. I come from a dry area and seeing so much greenery is a bit of a surprise.
You are now beginning your time as a university student and everyone says it is one of the best times of your life. What expectations do you have?
I want to learn, both academically and personally. I want to meet lots of people and learn languages. I have four years ahead of me, we'll see what they have in store for me (laughs).
You will move here from Cartagena. How will you feel so far away from your family and friends?
I have been away from home more than once and that makes being away from my family and friends a bit easier. Especially when only two of my friends still live in Cartagena, and one of them will leave to study as well. My cousin, who is like my sister, already studies at the university in Alacant so I think I'll be okay with it.
What does your future look like? What would you like to do?
I would like to be a video games or literature translator. If not, then I would like to do something related with helping people of different languages communicate.
Do you have any dreams you would like to see come true?
I want to help people understand each other, that is why I chose Translation and Interpreting. Using languages to help people do this, especially those with different cultural backgrounds, would make me very happy.