About Me

Hello, Ciao, Shwmae! My name is Jacob, and I’m 19 years old. I’m originally from a small town called Flitwick in Bedfordshire (*the sticks), around 35 minutes from North London.

I’ve lived in Cardiff since September 2021, when I joined Cardiff University to study Italian and Music*(BA). An interesting fact about me is that I completed my grade 8 singing exam when I was 18 as the UK was coming out of lockdown. 

Growing Up and School

I’m from one of the few counties in the UK which doesn’t follow the traditional Primary and Secondary school system. Instead, it is Lower, Middle, and Upper School. This means, Lower School (Reception to Year 4), Middle School (Year 5-Year 8), Upper School (Year 9-Year 13).  

Lower school was where my *passion for music began, and middle school was where my passion for languages began.

I had trumpet lessons from the age of 8-17 (completed grade 6), and I started singing lessons from the age of 9 which I continue with today with my incredible singing teacher Buddug, who has taught me since I started university. I also had piano lessons from the age of 14-18 so I have a good understanding of this instrument too.  

 When it comes to languages, I started learning French regularly in year 5 and Spanish from year 9 when I hit Upper School. I absolutely loved studying French and Spanish at A Level.

I was incredibly lucky in my Upper School that I could take *immersion trips to Rouen in France and Malaga in Spain every year.

I completed these trips from the age of 13-17 (I remember coming home mid-March 2020 from Malaga just before the lockdown!).

Honestly, I would say these immersion trips, living with Spanish and French families who didn’t speak English, were some of the best experiences of my childhood. I learnt so much about myself and it really boosted my confidence whilst also opening my eyes to different cultures around the world.

I first went to Spain in March 2017 at the age of 14, when I’d only been learning Spanish for 6 months and I remember feeling so proud of myself going through such a *daunting yet exciting experience. And of course, making so many funny mistakes with my Spanish.

For example, I remember one day I was unsure whether to wear my coat and I asked my Spanish Madre (mum) if it was hot outside. Rather than using the word ‘calor’, I used the word ‘caliente’, if you’re a Spanish speaker, I hope you’re finding my mistake funny right now!

Sometimes, there are lots of different meanings for words and it’s important to make sure we use the right one!

Languages and Me

I speak English as my first language and I’m learning Italian at university, this means I’m going to live in Italy next year-I’m so excited!

I’ve already mentioned that I studied French and Spanish at A Level, so I feel pretty confident speaking both of these languages too (I’m perhaps most confident speaking Spanish as I absolutely adored studying it at school).

You may be wondering as many people do “erm Jacob, why are you studying Italian now?”.

Firstly, I’ve always wanted to learn Italian but very few schools offer it as a subject. Secondly, I wasn’t interested in continuing with French, so it was between Spanish or Italian.

When looking for universities most of them offered music with either French, German or Italian due to the links between music and these languages.

For me, the combination of Italian and Music works beautifully and so it was clear it was time to start my Italian journey! I still get to speak Spanish occasionally with friends I have made through social media and my Spanish journey will never be over because I’ve developed such a love for the language over the years!  

As a *classically trained singer, I have sung my *recitals over the years in German, French and Italian and I also now get to sing in Welsh with my singing teacher. I am currently learning the piece “Cân Yr Arad Goch” by Bryn Terfel which I’m really enjoying.

Speaking of learning Welsh, I’ve completed a 10-week Welsh course with Cardiff University, and I’d love to learn more one day (when I have more time to learn it!). 

My Student Life and Future Me

So far, I’ve absolutely loved my time at university, and I’ve made life-long friends and met my amazing boyfriend Dom, who studies French and Spanish here too.

Aside from my degree, university has given me so many opportunities such as volunteering. A few months ago, I had the opportunity to volunteer with Speech Therapy for the Welsh organisation ‘21-Plus’, a charity which supports families with children and young people with Down’s syndrome.

I think it’s so important that everyone’s voice is heard, and as a languages student my communication skills and love of people meant that I couldn’t miss out on this opportunity.  

Hopefully, one day I will study a *masters in Speech and Language therapy or Music therapy with the skills I have learnt at university. 


  • BA – Bachelor of Arts is a university degree course
  • the sticks – far from anywhere
  • passion – great interest
  • immersion trip –time spent in another country speaking another language
  • daunting – feeling nervous or worried about something
  • classically trained singer – someone who has been taught to sing using classical music such as ‘Ave Maria’
  • recital – a musical performance
  • masters – a course that can be studied after finishing a university degree