Steven, originally from Hong Kong, has been studying with UK Study Centre tutors since the beginning of 2020. This summer, he will be finishing his A Level studies at Oundle School in Peterborough. With the help of tutors and educational consultants at UKSC, Steven has received offers from Imperial College, Leeds, Bath and Queen Mary universities
In the following interview, Steven will share his experience and advice for students planning to apply to top universities in the UK.
I decided a long time ago that the major I wanted to study was going to be related to engineering. From the very beginning, I preferred the direction of science and engineering, however, it took me a year or so to decide which major to study. I actually considered computer engineering a year ago, but after trying it out, I felt that I was not very good at it. Through participating in various projects, I was able to find out that Design Engineering was my ideal major.
The most difficult thing for me is to get the grades I need. When I first came to the UK, because I was not fully accustomed to the environment, my grades slipped. I'm a slow learner, so sometimes I get frustrated and I'm not sure if I'm up to par. After all, if I don't reach a certain standard, I may not even have the chance to try. But when I started to arrange my time for study and rest, learning became easier. Later, through my own efforts and the guidance from UK Study Centre tutors, I achieved better grades than before and met the admission requirements of all my chosen universities.
But I think it is my personal statement that ultimately impressed them. In my personal statement, I tried my best to show my love for this major and the university.
I started preparing for the interview about nine months in advance. During this period, I designed and manufactured a total of three products. Although these products were not perfect, I had a chance to show my interest and love for my major as well as my practical abilities. After receiving the invitation for interview from Imperial College London, UK Study Centre arranged for me to work with an excellent tutor. He helped me to have a better understanding of the interview content, which greatly improved my confidence and made me calmer in the real interview.
In general, I think the earlier you prepare the better, so you have enough time to make a plan.
What I am looking forward to most is that I can use the equipment at Dyson Engineering School. I believe that they will be of great help to me.
At first, my parents wanted me to try my luck, and since A Levels suited me better than IB, I came to the UK. At Oundle School, I usually get up at 6 o 'clock and finish class at 12 o 'clock. In the afternoon, I do sports, study and other activities. I have plenty of time and never get bored. The environment at Oundle made it very easy for me to integrate into my study and life in the UK. I believe that for many people, one of the biggest challenges when studying abroad is homesickness. After all, the environment is very different. Even though I have not been in the UK for more than a year, every time I come back, I am more or less not used to it. Besides, the biggest challenge was dealing with foreigners, however the initial feeling of isolation diminished as I made more friends with the locals.
In terms of learning, Oundle's teaching method is much faster than that in Hong Kong. At first, I was not used to it. Also, being surrounded by people I didn't know meant that I didn't want to ask too many questions, so I was under a lot of pressure. But I have become more comfortable over time and used to the speed of the teaching.
I think coming to a different country, the most important thing is to give yourself enough time to adapt, don't worry, don't give yourself too much pressure. Even if you don't want to, step out of your comfort zone and try to do more things outside of school (sports, extracurricular activities, etc.). This will help you feel that time is passing faster and feel less homesick.
During the application process, there were many things that I did not understand or were not familiar with. This is where UKSC educational consultants were a big help. They helped me arrange tutors to help me prepare my personal statement and practise for my interview.
«First of all, thank you very much to UK Study Centre! I chose each university carefully, so when I received the offer, my first reaction was very excited. Receiving recognition from so many universities makes me feel that my hard work has paid off, and it also fills me with anticipation for my college life.»
Through communication with my tutors, I was able to improve and perfect my personal statement. The interview tutor was also very helpful. Through the mock interview practice, I was able to give my best performance during the real interview. In addition, UKSC consultants used their experience to answer all of the big and small questions I had about the application. With the help of UKSC, the application process was much smoother and I was able to focus more on my studies.
If you are thinking about studying in the UK, whether that be at school or university, contact UK Study Centre for a free consultation.