Ella Graham Goodman – BA (Hons) History with English graduate

The University is fantastic, there are so many opportunities within and outside academia. I found the lecturers inspiring, and they made learning interesting and fun. The city itself becomes like a second home, it has everything: the sea, countryside, nightlife, shops and plenty of things to do. You meet so many amazing people from all over the world, it really is the place to be.

Studying at Plymouth


I got the opportunity to be part of the Shanghai Summer School in 2013, I had the best four weeks in the sun, with some amazing people learning about Chinese culture, politics and language, whilst getting to explore the city. I was unsure of what I wanted to do long-term after graduation, but my experience in China made me realise that I wanted to go into diplomacy and knew I needed a masters degree to help me on this path. 

My time at Plymouth equipped me with the skills I needed for teaching, as well as giving me the foundations for my masters degree. It has given me the confidence to try my hand at anything, and know I can do well if I put the effort in.

I’m still in contact with my old history lecturers. They like to know how you’re doing and love when you pop in to see them. They were the ones I turned to for help with my postgraduate application and for references. I’m still in touch with a lot of my old university friends – some of them are still in Plymouth, a couple of them are actually working for or did masters degrees at the University.


An amazing adventure

The most difficult thing I’ve faced in my career so far has been living in Beijing and moving away from family and friends to the other side of the world and hardly knowing anyone. The language barrier was difficult to start with, although I did learn to speak some Chinese, now I’ve moved abroad once I know I could do it again. To call Beijing home was incredible, it’s such an amazing city, brimming with history, culture, great people and amazing food.

Tips for teaching

My advice for anyone thinking of teaching is to give it a go and take a risk. Make sure you look into the agencies and schools you may potentially go with, some will offer you a seemingly amazing deal that may not translate when you get over there. If you can, ask to speak to a current member of staff to see how they find it. Beyond that, I’d recommend anyone to try to get some international experience, it will undoubtedly help you whatever your future career goals are.

Inspired by this story?

For more information about studying history with English, please visit our BA (Hons) History with English course page. For more information about our range of courses within the School of Humanities and Performing Arts, please visit the school page.

Want to find similar alumni?

If you would like to find out what other relevant alumni from the Faculty of Arts and Humanities are currently doing, please visit the humanities and languages interest area.