ElliePhotoWhat is the best bit of your course?

I’m really interested in the cognitive side of my course, which involves looking at how children learn language, and what happens to the brain when people experience difficulties with their speech, for example after a stroke.

What has been the biggest challenge so far?

You’re definitely expected to be a lot more vocal at university, whether that’s presenting as part of your assessment, or simply speaking up in seminars. It really does get easier, though, and some of the topics are so interesting that it’s hard not to get involved!

How do you cope with money?

I work as a student ambassador, which is brilliant because the hours are flexible so I can take more work in the holidays and less around exam time. I also try not to take my debit card with me when I go out – that way I know that I can only spend the cash I take out with me.

Where do you live?

I live in halls on campus in a block sharing with 11 other students. I really enjoy it because it’s a very social atmosphere and sharing with so many other people meant it was easy to make friends when I first arrived. It might not be for everyone, though, and smaller flats are available too if that’s what you’d prefer.

Where will you be in ten years?

I’d like to make use of my language skills by spending a bit of time in Spain or Latin America, and then hopefully to work in education in some context.

What do you wish you had known when you started university?

Make sure you save some money for Freshers’ Week, as often you won’t get your loan until the term starts officially. It would be a shame to miss out on anything because you didn’t budget for it. Having said that, most events are subsidised by the university, so you won’t need to spend too much.

Top budgeting tip

Get together with friends to borrow or swap old clothes – living with two other girls meant that we could save money on buying new clothes by borrowing things from each other. Make sure you ask first though!

Ellie's summary

Tuition Fee loan £9,250
Maintenance loan £4,292
Maintenance grant £2,146
Bursaries £1,000
Savings £0
Termtime work £0
Holiday work £1,000
Family and friends £0
Total Income £17,438
Fees £9,250
Insurance £50
Accommodation £3,595
Utilities £240
Transport £250
Shopping £450
Socialising £1,560
Eating £1,170
Study £200
Total Expenditure £16,515
Balance £923