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Rachel Gilman

Rachel Gilman

2

 Student/Alumni profile 

Course studied: MA Literature, Landscape and Environment
Graduating year: 2014

Rachel did her masters at Bath Spa in Literature, Landscape and Environment. She completed her undergraduate BA degree at Brigham Young University in Humanities and English with an editing minor.

Rachel's story

I chose the MA in Literature, Landscape and Environment as it is a new and unique course. I wanted to specialise in a field that I could actually contribute something to, or create cross-disciplinary connections, and this sounded like the best fit for me; to study environment and literature.

I liked the size of the course; it was small enough to know everyone and be on good terms with the professors, plus Corsham Court campus is a beautiful place to study! We were taught by several professors which was a fantastic way to gain exposure to different topics. The sessions on Scottish literature and landscape were particularly memorable, and have introduced me to things that have now become interests in furthering my studies.

Bath Spa University takes care of its international students and the program and experience of studying in Bath was transformative. It gives me credibility in the field of ecocriticism especially, and the knowledge to pursue and hopefully publish.

"The setting can’t be beat honestly. I lived outside Bath in Chippenham, but commuting to Corsham was easy, and it was just a beautiful spot to study."

What were you doing before you began the postgraduate course?

I had been working as a substitute teacher and a private tutor specialising in writing and English, and various other subjects.

Why did you choose to do this course?

I chose this course because it was unique and new. I wanted to specialise in a field that I could actually contribute something to, or create cross-disciplinary connections. This sounded like the best fit for me to study environment and literature.

What do you particularly like about this course?

I liked the size; it was small enough to know everyone and be on good terms with the professors. We got to be taught by several professors which was a fantastic way to get exposed to different topics. I especially liked Sam Walton’s course on Scottish literature and landscape. It introduced me to things that I had not been exposed to before, and they have remained with me and become my interests in furthering my studies.

Why did you choose Bath Spa University?

The setting can’t be beat honestly. I lived outside Bath in Chippenham, but commuting to Corsham was easy, and it was just a beautiful spot to study.

What do you like most about Bath Spa University?

I liked that it was small and liberal arts, and made an effort to genuinely take care of its international students. The different campuses were a bit difficult but each were beautiful so traveling between them while costly was nice to have different settings. It just didn’t allow me to get close to other students or enjoy the
community feel of being on one campus with lots of other people.

Do you have any particularly memorable student experience (academic or social)?

Walking the grounds at Corsham in between breaks for class was very memorable. Also, attending student activities at Newton Park like the talent show was super fun.

What have you done since finishing the course (if you have finished)?

I finished and immediately started a second masters degree in English, with a focus on American literature and ecocriticism. I am teaching writing and rhetoric to undergraduates as well.

How will your postgraduate qualification help your career?

Lots of people ask me about my experience in Bath and my degree. I think it gives me credibility in the field of ecocriticism especially, and the knowledge to pursue and possibly publish.

What would be your advice for graduates wishing to do this course?

Get funding! Not worth it to go into extreme debt for a year-long program in England (speaking from an international student’s perspective). Also, live near or with other students to create that community feel and network. It would be a great and necessary support group.

Are there any influential blogs, websites or publications that you use/read?

New York Times, ASLE

Do you have any other comments?

The program and experience studying in Bath was transformative. I really learned to become a different type of student. I learned to pursue research independently and read with questions that would help direct my research. I learned to pace myself with readings and with papers. I learned to be proactive in discussions and seeking out the knowledge and opinions of my professors. It was such a unique setting and subject matter, I could not have had a more unique experience learning. Thank you!

 

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