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What did you study at Reigate?

I left Reigate College this summer having achieved A Levels in Government & Politics, History and Sociology. I was sad to leave as I loved my time at College and had been together with most of my friends since Reigate School. 

How did you find your time at Reigate?

I found College so much more relaxed than school, which gave me the confidence to speak up more in class – I especially loved the debates we used to have in my Government & Politics lessons with Steve Tippen.

What are you studying at university?

I’m now studying for a degree in British Sign Language and Deaf Studies at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN), which will take three years. There are three other universities that offer this course, however I chose the course at UCLAN because they have tutors who are actually deaf. There are four qualification levels for British Sign Language and I actually passed Levels one and two at evening classes at Central Sussex College while I was at College, which has stood me in good stead on my course so far. 

Why did you choose this subject?

It’s a really unusual degree, but I’ve known that I wanted to become a Deaf Interpreter ever since infant school. One of my best friends in my class was deaf and used to have an interpreter come and support him in class, which is where I learnt my first sign language.  

In my second year at uni, I’ll have the opportunity to study abroad for a term and I’ve already decided to study in the USA at San Marcos University, where I’ll learn the American Sign Language (ASL). I’ve been told that once you learn a second sign language, your first language becomes so much easier. 

What are your plans for the future?

After graduating I’ll probably do a postgraduate degree over two years to become a fully qualified Interpreter. Once I’ve got the accreditation of the Association of Sign Language Interpreters I’ll be able to apply for jobs at the BBC, Interpreting agencies or at a university.

Connie Chamberlain

Left Reigate College: 2013

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