Member Mumbles

Member Mumble: Isabella Commu

Here it is, our first member mumble of the year! Isabella Commu, now a third-year student, tells us all about the struggle of the question “do you want to become a teacher?” when talking about your studies. So go ahead and give it a read, whatever could you possibly do with your BA in English Language and Culture?


Defying the Traditional Conception of Studying English.

By Isabella Commu


It is inevitable when you are at a Dutch birthday party or holiday and are sitting in the famous “kringetje” – basically eating all the food that is in front of you – that someone is bound to ask you at some point: “So, I heard from your parents you are studying English? Do you want to become a teacher?” Your skin starts itching, that is, unless you actually want to become a teacher. Don’t worry about what you’re going to read next. I love teachers and I have the utmost respect for them because it would be a real challenge for me to stand in front of a class and make sure my pupils learn something and improve over the school year. What I am trying to convey here is that most English students do not even know yet what they want to be or become, and I am here to assure you that that’s okay. I also want to give students of English a better conception of career paths that they have at their disposal. 

One of them is quite obvious, and that is becoming a teacher. A wonderful job, and a really important job that comes with great responsibility and discretion. However, I understand if you just don’t know what in the world you want to do with your life, because honestly, I have been lost pretty much my entire life up until this year. And I hope by providing you with some information you will know that English students are not simply bound to become teachers because frankly, we would have hundreds of English teachers if that were the case. But maybe I am also writing this because I want the world to know that studying English Language and Culture is much more than teaching and is not just “reading literature.” 

During my first two years here at English Language & Culture and Albion, I have made friends with people that have offered me a wide palette of MA and career options. One wants to become a teacher, the other wants to work at a publishing house, another one wants to become an editor, then there is also someone following an MA at Tilburg University in Children’s Literature, and me? I want to pursue a career in Translation and Adaptation. Studying English showed me the many different types of translation (and trust me, there is a lot). Translation is not just translating books or translating legal and medical documents. Translation is also subtitling (my personal favourite), dubbing, closed captions, mediating and much more. I am not lying when I tell you the sky’s the limit. You’d be surprised by the possibilities English has to offer. You can even become a journalist, work for the government, work for cultural festivals or maybe even become a correspondent. And I am well aware that I have mainly listed careers for literature students, but those who study linguistics also have a wide range of job prospects, such as speech therapist, a job in human resources (HR), consultancy, PR, sales and marketing, communication, etc. As I said, the sky’s the limit, and next time when an uncle or aunt asks you about your studies, you are prepared! You don’t even need to know which direction you want to go right now, but at least when you tell them that you don’t know what you want yet, you can wow them with the endless possibilities I have given you. For now, just have fun and hang out with one another.