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04 February 2022

College helps Ross discover the future he wants


SWAP Access to Languages with Business student Ross Fitzpatrick talks about his Edinburgh College experience during term 2020/21 and how completing the course gave his working life renewed focus and improved his mental health. Read Ross’ story below.


“I left school with no real qualifications and bounced around from job to job, trying lots of different roles without ever really finding something I loved.

Like many young people, I started to feel stuck and became pretty pessimistic about my prospects for a happier work-life balance. Having always loved to travel and find things out about people and places around the world, I enjoyed trying to learn languages as a hobby, and realised that I’d maybe like to work something like that into a future career.

I enrolled in SWAP Access to Languages with Business to see whether I was interested in studying properly again – having hated school so much the first time, my expectations were very low! In actual fact though, I genuinely loved the course and the sense of achievement that came with passing the assessments.

Fast forward to June of 2021, I came to the end of one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. It’s a challenging course, but every bit worth it and I would do it all again.

Twelve months prior to starting the SWAP course, I had no inclination to go on to further education, and certainly no qualifications to do so even if I wanted to. Now, I’m about to start a Triple Honours degree at the University of St. Andrews in Arabic, French and Russian, and could not be any more excited to start!

The sense of achievement is gratifying enough on its own, but the knowledge that I’m going to spend the next four years (and hopefully the rest of my life) doing something I love is just beyond a dream.

The College experience has helped my mental health so much. Before beginning the course, I was standing still in my life and felt trapped in the jobs I was doing by my lack of qualifications to match up with the employment experience on my CV. Enrolling on this SWAP course gave me the goal I needed to keep my head up.

Looking back on what I’ve achieved and forward to what’s next, I feel for the first time in years that I’m back on the road to the life that I want to have.”

SWAP Access to Languages with Business