Coming to the end of four great years at Kings
Pouyan Samadi from Iran has completed both GCSEs and A-levels with us in Bournemouth, and will soon be starting the next chapter of his education at university in the UK. We recently caught up with him to hear about his experience with us over the years, and his plans for the future.
Hi Pouyan. How do you think you've progressed here at Kings?
Well when I came here I was basically a child! Over these past four years obviously I became so mature and independent because I've been here alone by myself for four years now — that's personally. Academically I've progressed so much. I've got good offers from university. I'm proud of myself, I'm proud of my whole academic year and I think I'm doing pretty alright!
What do you think you are the areas that Kings has helped you with?
I used to have issues with Maths so whenever I needed extra classes they were happy to offer me extra classes and whenever I was down (because A-levels is not an easy subject) I had welfare managers helping me out. So basically the school was always behind me.
Can you talk a little bit more about the welfare staff and how they’ve helped you, and how you feel they are beneficial to students here?
I don't know where to start! Simply they've been great. They're always around, their door's always open whenever you need help, you can just pop in and talk to them and they'll be more than happy to do so.
Your chosen subjects are all Sciences — what are your predicted grades?
I need 3 A*s for Imperial, and I've been predicted 2 A*s and an A. I've got about one week to get my grades up to 3 A*s, hopefully!
How confident are you that you will get to 3 A*s?
2 A*s maybe but three is a bit difficult. I'll try my best. I hope I'll get it. The thing is, I've also got an EPQ, so even if I get two A*s and an A, the EPQ can help.
Can you tell us about the EPQ? What are you doing for it?
The EPQ is basically an independent study you carry out. I was interested in the transport sector and how inefficient it is — the heat engines only have an efficiency of around 30 to 40 percent. And apart from that, there's also a lot of global warming and all those problems caused from the transport sector. I was interested in why no-one is doing something about it. And so, as I did a bit of research, I found that there is something called a fuel cell.
I just researched more and more and I found all the benefits of the fuel cell, how it can help the environment and all that. So I did an EPQ on it, and how the commercialisation of the fuel cell can help the transport sector and the environment — and the barriers of fuel cell entry to the market.
How did Kings introduce you to the idea of EPQ and how did they guide you in your study?
I remember in my EAP classes, in English classes, my course director came in and introduced us to EPQ and how beneficial it was going to be, for independent studies. At university we're going to have many dissertations and essays.
So I was really interested. I started doing it and I was also given a supervisor so whenever I needed help, whenever I was lost or I needed a bit of motivation to carry on doing it, I just talked to them.
Part of the EPQ is a presentation. Have you given your presentation yet?
Yeah, it was actually pretty good. I was happy with the presentation. I practised it a few times at home and I used a lot of images, really short paragraphs so I could talk more, I could engage with my audience.
Fuel cell can get a bit complicated at points so I used a lot of images to explain the whole process from the beginning to the end and all the drawbacks.
So the area that you studied in the EPQ, is that an area therefore you think now you would try to focus on within your degree and then maybe even your career?
I wasn't sure what I was going to study at university before my EPQ, so when I did it and I found out about fuel cell and all that, it kind of directed it. I also like, and I'm really good at, Chemistry so it kind of directed me into Chemical Engineering.
Also I wasn't sure what I'm going to do in Chemical Engineering — first I wanted to do the production of certain goods, chemicals and all that, but now I kind of want to focus on the transport sector because it's really interesting, the fuel cell and other hybrid engines, electrical engines, all the other substitutes to heat engines that can help the environment because global warming is getting quite serious.
You've lived in the UK for four years, so culturally, do you feel you're almost English now?
The thing is that I'm kind of multicultural. I can blend in with any culture, I can communicate with any nationalities, any type of people. So yeah, when I first came here it was quite difficult to be honest, and my English wasn't good and I just couldn't really communicate with the British. In the school it was OK because other people around me were kind of the same. But now I can just go out in the streets and just start talking to people.
The Kings environment is very international, do you think that's helped you?
It was very scary for me when I first came through the doors, I was terrified. I didn't know if anyone was going to understand me, if I was going to understand anyone else, and I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to study in English, in another language. But then it was all OK because the welfare managers and the teachers, they're all so friendly. Whenever you have any problems, they help you out and other people around you are all the same, so we kind of help each other.