Doing the MA TESOL at Swansea University: An International Student Perspective by Mink Yuthika

My name is Mink Yuthika. I completed an MA TESOL at Swansea University in 2017. At that time, I was the only Thai student studying in the College of Arts and Humanities!

Before deciding to study at Swansea University, I obtained my bachelor’s degree from Mae Fah Lung University, Thailand, majoring in English. During my BA studies, I initially taught my non-English major friends and also worked as a translator. After graduation, I realised that teaching had become my passion and was emerging as a possible career for me. So I planned to pursue a master’s degree in the UK to gain more professional skills, and then go on to teach in my homeland. My final decision fell on the MA TESOL at Swansea University because of the course content, the reputation of the university that I intended to apply for, and the vibe of the city itself.

My master’s was a one-year taught course. In this programme, I completed six courses and Discourse Analysis was one of my favourite courses, taught by Dr. Federica Barbieri. In addition, I chose to do a dissertation, which involved working individually under supervision of my advisor. I was very impressed by the support of all lecturers. They treated students with the respect and encouraged us to share ideas with each other in class. I personally thought that this learning style was very effective. I would say that I liked all lecture classes but, honestly, I also felt a bit stressed every time I had assignment or exam deadlines, especially, when trying to finish assignments before celebrating Christmas in Scotland!

However, all the pressure went when I handed in my dissertation. At the same time, that relaxing moment was also a bit overwhelming, as I knew that my joyful time in Swansea was nearly over. Looking back, I really enjoyed my time studying in the friendly environment of this university, and Swansea is a charming city. I liked the vibe of people sipping a cup of coffee at the coffee shop, having a chat with friends, or walking along the beach. I really miss all those moments!

Now I am full-time lecturer, teaching English in the School of Liberal Arts at University of Phayao, Thailand. I currently teach ‘English for Communication, Listening and Speaking’ and two other general English courses. My students are from various majors such as English, education, tourism, agricultural studies, and engineering. Additionally, I am responsible for doing research, advising students who do theses, and advising internship students. It is a heavy workload but challenging at the same time.

For me, doing the MA TESOL worked as a passport that helped me get into my teaching career. I used my knowledge relating to language teaching and research skills that enabled me to have a wider perspective on English language teaching. For example, from the Second Language Acquisition course, I have gained a more comprehensive understanding of how non-native learners of English acquire a foreign language and what are the common mistakes that EFL learners tend to make when using English. So, I can now apply these ideas, and others, into my actual classes.

I would totally recommend the MA TESOL at Swansea University where you will be surrounded by supportive people. After finishing this course, I have increased not only my professional skills but also my confidence in teaching English. This is one of the best decisions I have ever made. Thank you Swansea University and all lecturers for everything. Without the support from my lecturers: Professor Jim Milton, Professor Tess Fitzpatrick, Dr. Federica Barbieri, Dr. Cornelia Tschichold, Dr. Vivienne Rogers, and Dr. Neil Bowen. Without them, I would not have been able to strive and complete my degree.