I chose to study Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (AMES) at Cambridge due to my love for languages. I was keen to pick up new languages in addition to those which I had studied at school. The AMES tripos is excellent for this: in Years 1 and 2 I studied Arabic and Persian, and in my final year I am studying Arabic and Hindi. The small class sizes are excellent and really aid in the learning of new languages.
The degree is excellent with regards to the choice of modules you can take. I am particularly interested in linguistics, and in Year 2 was able to borrow two linguistics modules from the Linguistics tripos, and currently I am writing a dissertation about Arabic linguistics. Other modules include those on history, literature, anthropology, and art. There are also many extracurricular activities within the AMES faculty such as film screenings and Persian calligraphy.
The year abroad offers amazing flexibility not only in terms of the country you can go to but also in terms of what you can do. Indeed for me it was the best part of the degree. I went to Jordan and others in my cohort had gone to Morocco, Oman, Egypt, and Tunisia. On my year abroad I developed a fluency which had been difficult to attain in England.