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Archaeology student recording roman oil lamps in the lab

Everything I learn feels so relevant, even if it’s a subject rooted in the past

Published: 5 December 2023

Through exciting fieldwork trips, she has been able to develop meaningful connections with her fellow course mates and lecturers. She’s just returned from a year abroad in Malta, an enriching experience where she grew both academically and as a person.

Why did you choose to study at Southampton?

Ancient History and Archaeology at Southampton offer a range of modules that link to my interests in ancient Egypt and China, but also completely new topics. I really enjoyed the open day visits and met some inspiring students and staff in my chosen subject. I instantly felt comfortable on campus with its green space and community feel. Southampton as a city is not overwhelming in size, and it has many direct links to places like London and Bath that you can explore. I’m also able to have a year abroad incorporated into my study which I’m extremely excited about. As a whole, I felt that Southampton could help me broaden my horizons both academically and socially.

What do you enjoy most about your course and Southampton? 

I really enjoy my course so far, mainly because we are able to choose the majority of our modules, but also because of how enjoyable the lectures are. Whilst I’m really interested in the subject matter, Archaeology at Southampton provides an incredible opportunity to participate in fieldwork – allowing you to put theory to practice as part of your degree. This is one of the aspects I’ve enjoyed most about my course, including the less practical elements: everything feels so relevant, even If it’s a subject rooted in the past.

I’m taught by passionate people who love what they teach and this is something I hope to replicate in my working life.

Amber Williams

Tell us about your involvement in university life

I’ve recently become a student ambassador, where I’ll be able to support others in their university journey. As mentioned, I previously participated in archaeological fieldwork for two weeks during the summer, which allowed me to solidify my knowledge and get to know my fellow course mates and lecturers much better. My course also offers many fieldtrips to various places linked to my areas of study, such as in marine archaeology, and I’m really looking forward to them. I’ve also enrolled in some of the many societies that Southampton offers, including the History Society, Ballroom and Latin Society and even the Cocktail society – a real range! I’m also hoping to make use of the universities sports facilities and participate in some team sports, like netball. 

Tell us about your year abroad

I was fortunate enough to have had the incredible opportunity of studying abroad for a year, in the small but beautiful island of Malta. Although a trope, it really was one of the best years of my life, and I encourage anyone who has the opportunity of moving to a new country to take it. Not only did I meet so many wonderful people, but I also gained so much academically and personally. As I often hear many say, university goes quick – so being able to have a year in the sun, where I was free to choose whatever modules I liked, is a priceless opportunity. I got to solidify knowledge I already had from being at Southampton, whilst also trying new things outside my degree. I always knew I wanted to have a year abroad, and Malta definitely did not disappoint.

What do you think you have gained from your studies that you wouldn’t have developed without them?

I’ve only just started my second year at Southampton, but I already gained so much knowledge and strong social skills. My timetable enables me to be independent and have a social life outside of my studies, which also encourages me to be organised and not waste time. My department is very supportive and my Personal Academic Tutor always gives me good guidance with my work load. I’ve particularly gained the confidence to pursue my interests, as I’m being taught by passionate people who love what they teach and this is something I hope to replicate in my working life. Although I don’t have a solid plan for my life after university, I’m not worried because Southampton shows you how unpredictable life is, and how you don’t need to waste time worrying!

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