Meet Marie, from Germany, who is currently studying on the Advanced Level Foundation as part of the Academic Study Programme at Kings Oxford.
Here, she shares her experience so far of UK study, and why she decided to follow this programme specifically.
Hi Marie. What subjects are you studying here and how long will you be with us for?
I’m doing the Foundation programme and am planning to stay for one term. I’m currently doing business, politics and history as my chosen subjects.
Why did you pick these subjects?
I want to do international business management later on at university, so I thought business is the essential thing to do and history and politics are kind of linked, so while history is focusing on past politics, politics in general, it’s linked to business because whatever is going on in the world with governments and stuff has a huge influence on the business side as well. So, by studying both you can look at both sides and conclude why things happen the way they happen.
What made you choose this programme specifically, and is it living up to your expectations?
I chose the programme because I want to educate myself more. I just have the German high school degree and English is such an international language, so I thought studying here would be a huge advantage for university later on. Also I’d be able to do my IELTS here, so I have the possibility to enter UK university when I finish the programme.
What have been the highlights of your time in the UK been so far?
“I live in Wavy Gate (residence) so I have flatmates and we share a kitchen, but being really independent here —doing my own laundry and cooking — it really helps me grow as a person.”
Also, meeting so many new people — when I came here I was afraid of not making friends, but you meet people here so easily and you meet people from all over the world so you have a nice influence on each other. That’s the best part. Also living at Wavy Gate and having a community from the first day onwards.
Is this your first time living abroad and what do you think of the UK so far?
Yes, it is. I think it’s a really cool pace, especially Oxford. It’s a small place city compared to other cities in the UK, but there are a lot of students and the pubs are really good here! it’s a perfect size for me living here on my own, it’s only a 20 minute walk to to school and the city centre. The only thing is that it’s expensive to live here — you have to try to keep an eye on your finances!
What kind of things have you experienced here that are specific to Oxford and that you’ve enjoyed?
I think first of all, the buildings — they are nice to look at and very impressive because most are part of the university. Also how the city centre is built, with the small streets and little pubs and shops. It’s really cute, the city in general. Also the parks are really lovely.
In terms of activities, have you had any favourites?
I think the volleyball, that was really fun being together in a team. It was good for our connection, and it was nice to be outside in the sun! Also punting — it was really nice to be on the river and punt through the parks. Besides that bowling, as I’d never done that before — it was nice to hang out and do something!
What do you hope to do after you finish at Kings?
I would like to go to university and by having my IELTS and the Foundation I want to do international business management and after that go into motor sports.
“I’d like to try to do a masters in international sports management and work in Formula One one day!”
Do you have any message for anyone watching this on social media in the future?
When I first came here I was really afraid of not making friends or being happy here, but I think you need to take the step to live abroad one time to just see if the life you lived was worth it. Discover who you are and what you want to be later on…by now I know what I want to study, I know I can make friends anywhere in the world, and just being able to travel the world on your own and be independent is such a huge improvement of my life and character. I would tell everyone to live abroad once in their life!