Julia Kolkmann, PhD English Language

Manchester hit all the right buttons for Julia, who credits an “incredibly lovely and welcoming” English department for allowing her to switch halfway through an undergraduate degree in Paderborn in Germany. Five “magical” years later she is still here.

University of Manchester PhD student Julia Kolkmann

“I self-funded a year abroad here in 2009 because I wanted to do more linguistics, and Manchester was doing exactly the kind of things I was interested in. Transferring from Paderborn was somewhat complicated, but I eventually finished my BA in 2011, secured funding for an MA in Linguistics and then again for my PhD in English Language.

“My main reasons for staying were the high quality of the teaching and supervision. There is an expert in any area of linguistics that interests you and they are all approachable and friendly. I can just knock on somebody’s door and ask their opinion.

“I get the opportunity to teach, giving seminars and tutorials to accompany lectures for undergraduates, and I’ve discovered I really enjoy standing in front of people and delivering content. I was also able to evolve outside my specialism. There is a huge departmental life, which fosters a great community spirit.

“You’re not just stuck in a library for three years, and that’s what’s great about Manchester. It was a revelation for me. I always knew Manchester was academically brilliant, but I enjoyed the city and the quality of life as well. I felt at home here instantly. I thoroughly recommend it."

"I’m into sports, especially long-distance cycling, and it’s lovely to explore places like the Lake District and Cheshire. There is such great access to rural areas.

"I also do a lot of outreach work and am a Fellow with the University’s Widening Participation programme, which has allowed me to communicate my research and that of my colleagues to young learners in schools. Think science communication!"