Erin Jones

Bangor University: Adult Nursing

Erin Jones

Bangor University: Adult Nursing

Originally from: Bontnewydd, by Caernarfon.

School/College: Ysgol Syr Hugh Owen, Caernarfon           

University: Bangor University

Year:  2

University course: Adult Nursing

Why choose to study the degree subject: There's a family history of working in healthcare. Both my grandmothers used to Nurse and my father was a Paramedic, so I was inspired by this field from childhood. I'm interested in healthcare and caring for patients. I volunteered in a residential home over the summer holidays while I was at secondary school, then I went on work experience to a community hospital, volunteering for the RVS – Royal Voluntary Service at the local hospital, enjoying the opportunity to work with healthcare staff, communicate with patients and help patients to get better while vulnerable in hospital.

Why choose to study in Welsh: Welsh is my first language, and I will be using the language in the workplace in clinical settings, without a shadow of a doubt, because I live in a Welsh-speaking area. A large percentage of the patients who use the services speak Welsh, and I personally feel more comfortable speaking my mother tongue. It's a great opportunity to have your education in your own language and to make the most of the chance to do a University degree course in an easy and understandable language, and the quality of the support and tutorials available in Welsh is excellent.

What's the best thing about studying the course in Welsh: It's a great opportunity to be dealing with words I understand. The support from the staff in the School of Healthcare Sciences and the staff of the Coleg Cymraeg is great. It's a privilege to be able to study a course in Welsh and feel comfortable asking a question, raising issues, choosing clinical placements and mentors who speak Welsh – by doing it this way I feel that I understand the work better and can be myself, which is very different to how I feel when I speak English.

Any advice for prospective students concerned about studying in Welsh: There's no need for any concern. Lectures and PowerPoint slides are available in Welsh, the Blackboard learning environment is available in Welsh, and tutorials, personal mentors and support are all available in Welsh, formally and informally. It's a great opportunity, not to be missed. For those who are considering studying in Welsh – I'd say go for it, there's plenty of help available, funding to help with the course and academic support.

Would you encourage others to apply for a Coleg Cymraeg scholarship: I would encourage anyone to apply for a scholarship. It opens a big door for you, not only at University, but also when you'll be going into the workplace. The fact that you've studied a subject through the medium of Welsh is very useful, especially in Wales, and financial support is available from the Coleg Cymraeg. There is a Main Scholarship and an Incentive Scholarship. I was fortunate enough to receive an Incentive Scholarship, which has been really great for me. I receive support, tutorials and mentoring through the medium of Welsh at University and on clinical placements in hospital, The funding is there to help Welsh-speaking students do the work in Welsh and receive support throughout the process. A great opportunity!!!

Why apply to be an ambassador: Because I received a scholarship, I feel I can tell other students how I feel and what the experience is like. It's a great opportunity to raise awareness among those who are uncertain about the scholarships and the Welsh language support available out there. So it's vital that those of us who are ambassadors promote and help students to make the right choice.

What do you enjoy most about being in university in Wales: Meeting new friends and being in a homely environment which is also in Welsh. Also the clinical placements – experiencing and enjoying the work I want to do in future – Nursing!

Hobbies: Mountain walking, climbing, swimming, skiing, golfing, hockey, piano, and Maes B and socialising with friends.

Likes: Exercise, music and socialising.

Dislikes: Rats

Favourite Welsh language programme/film: Rownd a Rownd and Y Gwyll #S4C

Any other interesting facts about you: I was fortunate enough to be Welsh Language Champion (funded by the Coleg Cymraeg). The Champions Project raises awareness about the importance of the Welsh language in healthcare. It develops leadership skills to raise the profile and impact of the 'active offer'. It also acts as an agent for change to promote the Welsh language and establish a Nursing workforce that reflects the linguistic needs of the local population, and helps to change the quality of patient care.