Dr Aaron Hornkohl
Fellow, Director of Studies, Tutor
Girton has students from both East Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, and enjoys the variety of students that come to study these language areas. We are a small number of students, but the friendly atmosphere at Girton means all feel at home. The Director of Studies works closely with each student, whatever the language they study.
Girton has a particular tradition of Hebrew studies, after the first lecturer in Modern Hebrew was a Fellow here. The current Director of Studies specialises in the Hebrew language, teaching both Classical and Modern Hebrew.
This gives Girton a unique position in Middle Eastern Studies within the University.
In East Asian Studies, students choose either Japanese or Chinese (combining Korean with Japanese is also an option). In Middle Eastern Studies, students may elect to pursue a single language (Hebrew or Arabic), combine two Middle Eastern languages (Hebrew, Arabic, or Persian), or combine a Middle Eastern language with a European language taught in the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages. No prior experience in the East Asian or Middle Eastern language(s) is required. However, A-level knowledge of the selected European language is required for any combination including such a language.
The degrees balance a high level of language work, in which students learn both the classical and the modern languages, with study of the literature, history, and society of either East Asia or the Middle East.
The whole third year of the four-year course is spent abroad in a relevant country to improve fluency in the chosen language and knowledge of the culture.
In the Faculty graduates may study for an MPhil or PhD, and Girton has had students taking both degrees.
Research and postgraduate students are admitted to the University by the Board of Graduate Studies. You must therefore apply centrally and not to the College. However, you must be admitted to a College to be able to study at the University. To ensure that this is Girton, you need to indicate this on your application form.
As with any Humanities degree, students have moved on to a wide range of careers. Students in AMES, though, are particularly valued for their linguistic skills, knowledge of particular geographic regions, and wider intellectual skills. The degree combines language learning with cultural sensitivity and critical analysis of history and literature, which are skills appealing to employers in various fields. In addition to areas such as banking, law, and publishing, students have also used their skills to work in journalism, charity, and politics.