Chinese student Qi Wang (known as Emma) was living in Australia when she decided that a UK education would help her towards her future career.
Having done her research, Emma realised that the UK education system was more rigorous academically and a better fit for her future ambition of studying maths or statistics at the University of Cambridge. She is now studying the Science A-levels Pathway (Chemistry, Physics, Maths and Further Maths) at Reading College, part of Activate Learning.
Emma found out about Reading College through her agent. She was impressed by the list of universities that previous students had gone to, such as Oxford, Cambridge and UCL, combined with the lively atmosphere and the excellent transport links to London and Heathrow Airport.
Emma said: “My teachers are really knowledgeable and helpful, especially my tutor Anna. They are very organised, too. We do lots of mock exams, which is helpful. I ask a lot of extra questions after class and they are always very patient and help me.”
“The A-level managers and staff helped me to apply to the UCL summer schools and advised me about how best to write my statements – I got a place! The library staff are also really helpful. I like the quiet study room and spend quite a bit of time there when I am not in lessons.”
During her time at Reading College, Emma has also got involved with the Students’ Union and volunteered at open events. She said: “I had the opportunity to talk to lots of different people, which I enjoy. It helps me with my English, as well as learning more about British culture.”
She also won several awards at the A-level Star Awards, including the Further Maths and Physics Awards. Her Physics tutor said: “Emma's thirst for knowledge, her self-motivation to improve and achieve her maximum potential and her work ethics are outstanding. Emma achieved a Silver Award on the AS Physics Olympiad Challenge. Just two marks off a Gold!” Emma also won an award for ‘biggest contribution to college life’.
Coming to live and study in England away from her parents has helped Emma become more independent, preparing her for life at university. She lives with a host family who are very friendly. She has learnt to do things like open a bank account and learnt about British culture and everyday life.
Emma said: “I would recommend Reading College. Living in an English environment and meeting English people every day is far better than being at a language school. If you want to come abroad to study, an Activate Learning college will give you more opportunities to improve your English.”