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Student progression stories

Meet some of our most recent alumni below.
Their destination universities are ordered by overall university ranking or by subject-specific ranking, whichever is higher, according to The Times Good University Guide 2017.
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Zixuan Xiong (Summer)

Zixuan (Summer), from China, is studying Economics at the University of Cambridge (ranked No. 1). She took A-levels at Kings Oxford.

"Cambridge is my dream university and it is why I choose to study in the UK. It is considered to be one of the most prestigious institutes of higher learning, and also has a traditionally strong reputation in Economics.

My economics teacher [at Kings] answered my queries in different topics beyond the curriculum range. The school also provided me a mock interview which I found really helpful especially when you have never attended an interview. It helped me gain insight into what is going to happen in an academic interview and made me less nervous.

Kings is a place in which I had a memorable life and met my close friends. I really appreciate the teachers there."

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Artur Begyan

Artur is from Russia and is studying Economics at the University of Warwick. He took A-levels at Kings Bournemouth.

"When I was 12 years old, I wanted to follow a road, which nobody else in my family had taken. I wanted to be exceptional. My dream was to get to one of the top universities in the UK. That is also when I decided to learn English and hopefully come here and get ready for university.

Initially I wanted to study Economics. I was just curious about this subject, I wanted to know why things happen, how the economy functions, not only the global economy but also the micro-economy, the markets. I am also very curious about subjects like computer science and physics. In the future I am planning to combine these subjects to create something new."

Read a full interview with Artur on Kings Life.

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Serra Ileri

Serra is from Turkey and is currently studying for a degree in Business and Management at Durham University. She took Advanced Level Foundation at Kings Oxford.

"My English was already quite good when I came to Kings but it's completely different from the education system I was used to and I had no idea how to write essays or how to do an academic presentation.

At the time I thought the CSS and Data module was important but now I realise how essential it is. I have a lot of friends who did A-levels and they don't know how to write an academic essay, how to do presentations, how to reference, and I know all of that thanks to CSS and honestly it saved my life! I'm the only international student who got a First in the 'Changing the World of Business' assignment and I think it's only because I'm good at referencing! If it wasn't for CSS I wouldn't have known how to do it.

England has many good universities, so that's why I came to Kings before university. I went to the university fair that Kings arranged and the Durham representative told me that since I had the French Baccalaureate I maybe didn't need A-levels etc, but I'm pleased I did the Foundation as I think I would have failed my university course if I hadn't gone to Kings before."

Read a full interview with Serra on Kings Life.

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Orvanda Ferreira

Orvanda, from Angola, is studying Mechanical and Electrical Engineering at the University of Bath. She took Advanced Level Foundation at Kings London.

"It's really small at Kings, you get lots of help as everyone knows everyone so they know when you're struggling and you'll always get the support you need.

Kings provides more like a general type of Foundation which allows for flexibility in switching between course choices if one doesn't succeed and/or doesn't like a particular module.

I particularly enjoyed Physics! Although I had studied it in Angola it's always better to see it from a different perspective and it was good to get used to the English system and the English terms for things. They gave us all the basics in Physics — it was helpful as when you go to university they expect you to know this."

Read a full interview with Orvanda on Kings Life.

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Leda Camila Andrade Padre

Camila is from Cape Verde and is studying Civil Engineering at UCL. She took Advanced Level Foundation at Kings Oxford.

"I have cousins and brothers who I visited in London. I feel so inspired to live in the city, surrounded by places like Big Ben — those attractions are all so famous and for me London is a really beautiful city. I think it's perfect.

UCL is really central, near to the big attractions and I know that it is responsible for the British Museum and other important places like that. I think it's also one of the top places to study Engineering in the UK.

I want to do my degree here and if I found a good job here after I might work here (in the UK) for a while. I expect to have great opportunities to travel and work in different countries around the world and then when I have enough experience I can go back to my country and help develop it — it’s a country in development so it needs change and infrastructure. This is my dream."

Read a full interview with Camila on Kings Life.

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Muhammad Muazu

Muhammad is from Nigeria and is studying Aeronautical Engineering at Loughborough University. He took Advanced Level Foundation at Kings London.

"I applied to five universities and received four offers to study aeronautical engineering.

The course has been quite stressful as it’s quite intense, but it’s fine. I think because I’ve already experienced a really intense course here at Kings I won’t be overwhelmed by anything I come across at university.

The CSS module has been helpful because it teaches you how to communicate and the assignments help you know how to do essays at university, also to do presentations in PowerPoint – this will also help in the future." 

Read a full interview with Muhammad on Kings Life.

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Anastasiia Kononenko

Anastasiia, from Russia, is studying Economics and Management at LSE. She took A-levels at Kings Oxford.

"This is the first time that I've been away from home for such a long time. It's the first time I've studied other subjects in English — it was pretty strange to start with, but you get used to it fast. The teachers understand that English isn't our first language, so they take care of us. We get a lot of help from our CSS classes, these help me to be successful in my academic subjects.

Small class size is a real advantage of this system of education. The teachers can pay attention to each student. We are encouraged to ask lots of questions, and I always get a proper answer."

Read a full interview with Anastasiia on Kings Life.

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Jia Ling Goh

Jia Ling is from Malaysia and is studying Law at the University of Leeds. She took Advanced Level Foundation at Kings Oxford.

I chose to come to Kings because of the Foundation course, which keeps my options wide. I can select my own modules, and I chose economics, geography and politics. I’d like to study Law.

Kings actually suggested which universities I should look at based on my results, then I looked at those universities and did research.

The UK education system is definitely different from the one in Malaysia. For example here at the start of each term we have target setting, we make appointments with teachers and they suggest to you what to do to improve academically.”

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Anastasiia Turchyn

Anastasiia, from Ukraine, is studying Sociology at the University of Edinburgh. She took Advanced Level Foundation at Kings Oxford.

Last year I was at Kings in America — I was at a summer school in Malibu for one month, so I decided to stay with Kings (to do the Foundation).

The teachers here are so nice and friendly. If you have any problems or are upset, they’ll comfort you – it doesn’t matter if you’re their student, or if you’re from another class – they’ll always try to help. I felt very supported.

I knew that I needed one year at least to improve my English, and communicating with people from other nationalities has really helped me to practise. I won’t have any problems understanding.

English people are a little bit different from people in my country culturally, so it’s helped me to get used to that, being at Kings.”

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Georgette Sebastiao

Georgette, from Angola, is studying Chemical Engineering with a year in Industry at the University of Nottingham. She took Advanced Level Foundation at Kings Bournemouth.

I think any university would be great, but I really liked the campus at Nottingham and I met some of the staff. I think I’ll feel at home there, and be at a great university on a great course.

This year has been extremely important in terms of academic knowledge and also getting to know the education system here in the UK. If I’d have gone straight to university I would definitely have had more problems.

The teachers are always there for us and we have support lessons — I had some difficulties with maths and my teacher is amazing. She works with me — I told her I want to get an A and she said, ‘OK, we’ll work towards that A!’. We can go and talk to them whenever we need to.

Being in such small classes here means that we have much more individual attention and the teachers can really focus on us. It’s very different to in my country."

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Nadia Ulica

Nadia is from Angola and is studying Chemical Engineering with a year in Industry at the University of Nottingham. She took Advanced Level Foundation at Kings Bournemouth.

"The Foundation has been really different from other experiences that I have had in my life. It’s been very challenging, and it has shown me a different part of myself that I don’t know before. I do like to take challenges, and it’s been amazing.

Because we have a different teaching methodology in Angola all the skills that I’ve learnt here have been almost new to me — in Angola we didn’t give so much importance to them.

Foundation is very demanding, but I’m enrolled in a swimming course (as part of the Duke of Edinburgh award) and I was also learning to play piano in my free time."

Read a full interview with Nadia on Kings Life.

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Sofia Calvino Rodriguez

Sofia, from Venezuela, is studying Criminology and Psychology at the University of Southampton. She took Advanced Level Foundation at Kings Oxford.

"Looking back I don't think I would be able to go straight to university from high school — it would be too much so this year has been perfect.

I recommend it 100%. It's tough though — if you think here you'll be here just partying and doing nothing, that's not the case! You have to work really hard."

Read a full interview with Sofia on Kings Life.

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Filomena Jose

Filomena, from Angola, is studying Mining Engineering at the University of Exeter. She took Advanced Level Foundation at Kings Bournemouth.

"I always wanted to be an engineer. There are only a couple of universities in the UK that do Mining Engineering — it was a challenge to get in!

I did a lot of work on my application. I had a lot of help from Elaine and my CSS teacher helped me with the personal statement and application. I used to wake up every day and wonder if I'd make it — if I'd get in to this university.

The Foundation was very intensive — it was one of the hardest and the best parts of my stay in the UK. You just want to do well and to get what you're aiming for, and when you get it, it's great feeling."

Read a full interview with Filomena on Kings Life.

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Ho Kit Kennis Leung

Ho Kit (Kennis) is from Hong Kong and is studying Biomedicine at Lancaster University. He took Advanced Level Foundation at Kings Bournemouth.

"I’m going to apply to do medical sciences at university. Medicine is very competitive, so I’m going to take a step back – do medical sciences and then when I’ve finished that degree I’ll go to medical school.

Although it’s not a big school the atmosphere [at Kings] is really good. People are really friendly and there are small teaching groups, so you can get more involved. All me and my friends come from different international places – in my old school people stayed with their own nationalities, but here it’s totally different. We communicate and practise our English, it’s better than the other schools. I really enjoy it.

Here I’m more motivated to learn, the teachers are good and we all motivate each other.”

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Ho Chun Cyrus Leung

Ho Chun (Cyrus), from Hong Kong, is studying Law at Lancaster University. He took Advanced Level Foundation at Kings Bournemouth.

"I met Cathy (Regional Manager) in Hong Kong and she told me it would be possible to go to a good university if I came to Kings.

My previous place was a boarding school, the town was really small. Bournemouth is nice – you can go to the beach in your free time and it has an international feel."

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Anna Krivoshlykova

Anna, from Russia, is studying for a degree in English Language and Linguistics at the University of York. She took Advanced Level Foundation at Kings Oxford.

"I chose to come to Oxford because I fell in love with it the first time I saw it. Kings, I chose, because it was recommended to me by my agent. I went there and met Ruth and Adam, and they were very welcoming and friendly. I really hoped I would get through my exams so I could come to Kings.

[From the Foundation] I think I gained independence, because it was my first time away from friends and family, and I learned to be prepare for exams and assignments by myself — even though the teachers were always on hand if I needed them. I was also taught to write assignments properly, I learned how to do an independent research, how to paraphrase, how to do bibliography and so on. It turned out to be extremely helpful at the university!"

Read a full interview with Anna on Kings Life.

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Siwon Choi

Siwon, from Korea, is studying a Sports Management degree at Loughborough University. He took Advanced Level Foundation at Kings Oxford.

"I am enjoying my degree, it's different to what I expected! It's actually less intensive than the Foundation at the moment! I'm living in a residence here and my flatmates are really kind. They are all British apart from me.

When I met my agent in Korea they said there were two options for Foundation — firstly to do it at a university and secondly at a private college, like Kings. They said that I might get more personal attention somewhere like Kings, and I did — Adam, my course director, always helped me a lot. It's very intense, but if you manage your time well you can play and study effectively! Kings is a really nice place to study."

Read a full interview with Siwon on Kings Life.

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Vladislav Rumiantcev

Vladislav, from Russia, is studying Electronics at the University of Edinburgh. He took Advanced Level Foundation at Kings Oxford.

"I was considering both the UK and Germany because in my school in Russia I was studying both languages, but then we opted for the UK because the British education system is well known. I applied to some other schools here for the IB, but then we decided that the one year course would be better for me because I would finish my education earlier.

It was my agency that recommended Kings to me. I was looking for a one-year course, and they said that Kings’ foundation is a higher level than other foundation programmes. I had an interview with the course director and he told me about the school, and I liked the sound of it.

It was even better than I expected. I felt at ease here because this school is quite similar to my one in Russia — the atmosphere was very friendly."

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Laeticia Vaygue-Torrini

Laeticia, from Belgium, is studying Politics and International Relations at the University of Bath. She took Advanced Level Foundation at Kings London.

"This year has taught me and my fellow students the skills necessary to attend university in the UK next year as well as the value of work and efforts. I will leave this school with plenty of memories. I have met people that I hope will stay my friends for a long time.

Kings provides education but it is much more than this, Kings offers support as we are far from our families and homes as well as help for us to meet our objectives. It is a great place that I will certainly recommend, to enjoy experience of a year abroad and work efficiently."

Read Laeticia's full blog post on Kings Life.

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Tsz Tung Nicole Pong

Nicole is from Hong Kong and is studying Law at the University of York. She took Advanced Level Foundation at Kings London.

"My sister studied in Bath and so I sort of always knew that I would study in the UK. It's why I didn't do the last year of high school in Hong Kong and came straight here to do the Advanced Level Foundation.

A lot of international students at York actually graduated high school and then realised the they didn't have the credentials needed by UK universities, so they came here to do a foundation.

I think the best things about Kings is the staff. When I did my UCAS applications and got into York I remember Emma jumping up and down with joy for me! The staff are amazing — they were so supportive and helpful with everything and you really need that as an international student. Steven and Emma really helped with my personal statement — they didn't mind if I just ran up the stairs and said 'Help'!"

Read a full interview with Nicole on Kings Life.

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Mai Anh Pham

Mai Anh, from Vietnam, took Advanced Level Foundation at Kings Oxford. She is studying Media Studies with Film Studies at the University of Surrey.

Besides data and CSS, I chose to study geography, politics and business. I’d like to study Media Communication at university. I’d like to work in the field of media, maybe as a journalist or videographer – or even an event organiser.

I had a look at the rankings, and did lots of research about the universities and courses. I had some help with the personal statement from Melrose, Adam and my CSS teacher.

The teachers [at Kings] are nice. My politics teacher is a good teacher, and gave me advice on how I can improve. She also helped me with my time management. The business studies teacher is also really nice — he gave us lectures on Power Point and then we answer questions on the topic.

Kings isn’t a big place to prepare for university — the campus isn’t that big. Everyone knows each other and it’s like a big family. I’m really going to miss this place. The staff and students, everyone, is nice and helpful and supportive."

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Kalu Onuma

Kalu took A-levels at Kings London before winning a place to study Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Sheffield.

"I wanted to specialise in Robotics, but Electrical Engineering is a more general course and it will give me more job opportunities. I did detailed research about the universities I wanted to apply to. Sheffield has a very good EE department, so I chose this university.

I enjoyed the small classes [at Kings] in the first year — that way you have more time with the teacher, which improves your grade at the end of the year. They give you lots of feedback. I also enjoyed the social activities, mixing with students from different cultures and backgrounds. It also helped develop my personality, as I had to tailor it to the system here and the way things are done.

I noticed that most students here (Sheffield) from the UK have just left their home and are quite homesick. Others party a lot, which isn't great for studies. I was able to find a balance at Kings, whereas some people here are still trying to do that."

Read a full interview with Kalu on Kings Life.

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Alina Kurmanbayeva

Alina is from Kazakhstan and is studying Politics and Economics at SOAS. She took Advanced Level Foundation at Kings London.

I’ve had a lot of help from my UCAS counsellor and from the whole team — our course coordinator was really helpful with our personal statement, and with the whole process.

The Foundation is very convenient for international students — it’s a good pathway to university. It’s been very useful, I’ve learnt lots of useful skills for university.

The size of the classes are much smaller here – in my country there were 23 students per class on average – and the real advantage of this programme is that you can pick subjects that you want to study.”

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Taron Pipoyan

Taron is from Armenia and is studying Politics at King's College London. He took A-levels at Kings London.

"The UK is a great place to develop academic skills in the world. Furthermore, the UK has very good universities — that is why I decided to study in the UK. I decided to study at Kings because I found out that Kings could help me to develop my analytical and critical thinking skills.

All my lessons are good and the part that I enjoy in my lessons the most is when teachers make you to get into discussions.

Kings London and my previous school are completely different institutions and the greatest differences are the size of classes and exam preparations. Kings helps much more to be a student who can get As and A*s."

Read a full interview with Taron on Kings Life.

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Vun Yee Wah (Vivian)

Vun Yee (Vivian), from Malaysia, is studying Biomedical Sciences at the University of Bristol. She took Advanced Level Foundation at Kings Oxford.

"I wanted to study Foundation and I found out that the one here is different to others, and that here it's more similar to the A-level syllabus. Also here you can have five university choices, and you can get to high ranking universities.

I think CSS is very useful. We learn how to give presentations and write essays. I learnt English in my country but we only learnt reading and writing, we didn't learn about speaking and I get to speak more doing CSS."

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Valeriia Tylis

Valeriia, from Russia, is studying International Business with Communications at the University of Nottingham. She took Advanced Level Foundation at Kings Oxford.

"The teachers at Kings are really good and kind, and they can help you if you have any problem. All the other students are really friendly. At first, I was a bit afraid of all the different cultures and nationalities, but now we’re all friends, so that’s really nice. I’ve learnt a lot about other cultures. At first you have some stereotypes, but when you start to communicate and know each other, you understand that maybe your thoughts were wrong."

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Joseph Mosneron-Dupin

Joseph is from Belgium and is studying Architectural Engineering at Cardiff University. He took Advanced Level Foundation at Kings Bournemouth.

"I definitely enjoyed [my experience at Kings]. Bournemouth is such a great city... we spent the whole summer swimming in the sea! The culture in the school was great too, there are so many people from around the world. The residence I stayed in was good fun as well — there was a great atmosphere. Overall it was a very good experience.

University in Belgium is tough. It's only the exams that count, you don't generally have coursework. I knew it was a different system [in the UK] and heard good things about it. I'm really happy here so far, so it was a good choice I think!"

Read a full interview with Joseph on Kings Life.

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Taisei Tsuruoka

Taisei is from Japan and is studying Mathematics at the University of Manchester. He took the one-year A-level at Kings London.

"I used to go to a school in Suffolk, but I couldn't get in to my desired university so I needed to retake my A-levels. The reason I came here is because they offer the one-year A-level, I didn't want to spend another two years.

I have to say the one-year A-level is quite intense, but each lesson is well organised so it's not a problem. I'm doing Maths, Further Maths and Chemistry.

I've been interested in computing since I was young, so I have applied for Computer Science courses at university. My career will be as a systems engineer or programmer.

The big difference (between Kings and my school in Japan) is that in this school there are less than 10 people in lessons — in Japan we had about 30 people. I guess this is good as the teachers can take care of every student."

Read a full interview with Taisei on Kings Life.

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Nasib Al Dirani

Nicole is from Syria and is studying Bioengineering at the University of Sheffield. He took Advanced Level Foundation at Kings Oxford.

"The idea of applying for Bioengineering came up whilst I was at Kings, and I had help from a couple of my teachers. They did check the course, and they told me what's in it, as the course description on the website was a bit vague. I would recommend going to the university, seeing what the atmosphere is like, visiting the department, and asking some experts about the course. Each university has its specialisms so my teachers helped give me a general idea of where to consider.

I think that doing Foundation will give you a lot of advantages, especially if you’re an international student going to an English university. It helps you understand how teachers want you to answer in England — in Syria we had a different way. The CSS helped me a lot."

Read a full interview with Nasib on Kings Life.

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Nina Hasebe

Nina is from Japan and is studying Robotics and Intelligent Systems at Kings College London. She took Advanced Level Foundation at Kings London.

"When I first came here I wanted to do aerospace engineering but when I was trying to write my personal statement over the winter holidays I realised that what I specifically wanted to do was work with the systems in the spacecraft. For that reason I felt that maybe robotics or some kind of computer science would be better for me, unless I decided to go for the whole design of the spacecraft and all the other aerospace engineering stuff. For what I want to do, if I had a general knowledge of robotics systems it will help me more.

Writing my personal statement I had to think about why I wanted to do aerospace engineering and this really made me ask myself whether it was what I wanted to study for 3 or 4 years.

Another thing that influenced my decision was the visits I went on to universities — not open days, but individual visits that the school helped me organise with private appointments with students doing my anticipated degree subject. The universities that I was looking at before, it turned out weren’t actually the best places for me — I only discovered this when I visited."

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Andriy Avramenko

Andriy, from Ukraine, is studying International Hospitality Management at Bournemouth University. He took the Diploma in Hospitality Management at Kings Bournemouth.

"After finishing my university degree I’ll probably go into higher management, work in different places, see what’s what, and then probably go to Croatia and open a hotel there. It’s still developing and there isn’t as much competition as it England. They also have some nice weather there!

As part of my degree I’ll do a 40-week paid placement. Kings have also arranged work placements for us here — one in the winter, and we’ve just recently finished another. I worked before at a hotel in St. Lucia, but it was good to experience it here in the UK. It opens up your mind about what’s hard and what’s not. I sat in the reception for two days, and before I thought it was a piece of cake, but I realised I was completely wrong… you directly talk to customers and there’s always lots of things to do at once."

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Sofia Posada Bernal

Sofia is from Colombia and is studying Criminology and Criminal Psychology at the University of Greenwich. She took Advanced Level Foundation at Kings London.

I took Economics, Politics and Human Geography as well as Data and CSS.

I had five offers but I’d like to go to Greenwich University to do Criminology and Criminal Psychology. When I arrived here I didn’t know what I was going to study, but with help from Steven, my UCAS counsellor, I realised that’s what I want to do.

It’s been quite challenging because of the language, but it’s very interesting, I came here not knowing a lot about Economics and Politics and I’ve learnt a lot. It’s also really improved my English.”

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Lyazzat Stamgaziyeva

Lyazzat, from Kazakhstan, is studying Media and Communication with Business at Kingston University. She took Advanced Level Foundation at Kings Oxford.

"Studying abroad was my childhood dream, especially studying in England which always different with its academic excellence. I was looking for the place where I can improve my communication skills, also, where I can do a foundation course which will help me to get a place at one of the British universities. So, finally I found Kings Oxford. I did some research on it and my agent provided a lot of information about Kings. We found Kings Oxford the best place to study. In addition, I read some reviews of other Kazakh students who already graduated Kings. I was very happy with all the information that I collected and came here to start my foundation course.

At Kings I found everything that I was looking for: good teachers, a high level of educating students, the best accommodation in Oxford and just a friendly atmosphere.

I am going to do Communication and Media with Business studies at my future university. In short, it is about business and TV. How all of that processes goes how to manage and set up your own business. Moreover, how to work as a part of a TV team. I want to be TV presenter and also highly-successful businesswoman."

Read a full interview with Lyazzat on Kings Life.

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Nima Nokandeh

Nima is from Iran and is studying Law at Oxford Brookes University. He took Advanced Level Foundation at Kings Oxford.

"Before I came, I did a Kings test and they recommended that I did an English preparation course. I think I made good progress — when I stared I was in level 4 and when I finished I was level 6.

It was a really good experience to be in an international college before the actual term started. For me I got familiar with the environment, with other students, and with how Kings works in different situations, and I was very pleased with the social activities that we had in St. Josephs.

I plan to study law at university, and I chose foundation because I'm already 18 and 2 years of A-level would be quite a long time. Foundation is shorter so I can go to university faster."

Read a full interview with Nima on Kings Life.