From A-levels with Kings to studying Medical Sciences at the University of Leeds
Negin Nematiniaye Masooleh, from Iran, is in the first year of her Medical Sciences degree at the University of Leeds, after completing her A-levels at Kings Oxford. She tells us how Kings prepared her for higher education, and what she is enjoying about university life.
Hi Negin. Are you pleased with your choice of university and of degree course?
I am enjoying every second of my course as it is something that I love and also is improving my knowledge for future studies.
The number of facilities and resources that are available for students is amazing. I am totally pleased with my choice and recommend it to other students. The university provides students with many employment opportunities either for summer or after graduation which are really important. As it is a big university there are students from many different countries and backgrounds so socialising is not a problem here.
How do you think your time at Kings best prepared you for university?
Well the education system in the UK is very different from my country and studying at Kings familiarised me with its aspects and this really is helping me in uni.
The obvious thing about my time at Kings is that they prepared me academically for my course and A-level exams.
Were you happy with your A-level results, and were they what you thought you would achieve when you first came to the UK?
Yes, I was really pleased with the results. I actually never thought I would get these marks. The university offered me the Biological Sciences Dean's Excellence scholarship because of my A-level results.
What aspects of Kings and the classes most helped you to make good academic progress?
Classes were interactive and the teachers tried to make us engage with other students which really helped the learning process. Also, my 'English for Academic Purposes' classes helped me improve my English and helped me reach my IELTS offer condition. Tips that teachers gave us about writing lab reports come in very handy at university.
What enrichment activities did you do at Kings, and do you feel they helped with your university application?
In my first year, I did Biology club and UKCAT. UKCAT classes really helped me prepare for my UKCAT exam for entering the university. Biology club was more of a fun class that we could do exciting experiments that were not usually part of our study.
In my second year, I did the British Culture club. This was not technically useful for my application but it was fun to learn about this.
I was also part of the Student Council in both years. In my first year, I was the head of Charity Committee and the second year I was the secretary. Writing about my responsibilities during this time in my personal statement helped me to show the universities that I have some experience in leadership, which was an essential skill for my course.
Do you have any messages for your former teachers and classmates at Kings?
"I had so much fun during my time at Kings — thank you for everything you did!"
We last spoke to Negin when she was completing the second year of her A Level course at Kings Oxford. She was originally inspired to study at Oxford after visiting the college while on a Kings Summer course in 2016, and then she started A-levels later that year. We spoke to her about how her course was going and her plans for the future.
Hi Negin. What made you decide to come to Kings and do the course you are doing?
I always wanted to study abroad but my parents had some concerns. But when I came to Oxford as an excursion while at my summer camp in Bath we got introduced to the school and agents that can help us with the whole situation, and that helped my parents to come to a decision.
How is your A-level course going? What subjects are you taking?
I have Biology, Chemistry and Maths as my three subjects. I'm not suggesting that it is easy but I think if someone work for it, it is nothing impossible to finish the course with good marks and an acceptance from a university that you want.
Are you happy with the tutoring and support you get at Kings?
The school has some really experienced and educated teachers. Another good thing about the school is that if you have any concerns about any part of your course they will be more than happy to help you with extra classes or such.
Where are you staying here — in a residence or homestay? Are you happy in your accommodation?
I stayed with a family for almost 3 months and I had a really good time there, but then I decided that I wanted to move to residence. This was also a good decision as I could communicate with other students and make friends.
Have you taken part in any of the extracurricular activities at Kings? If you have, what have been the highlights?
I was the head of the Charity Committee on my first year of A-level. During that time I had fun planning any fundraising for the United World Schools charity and also improved some of my skills that later helped me in my personal statement for universities.
What do you think of the school's location in Cowley? Do you spend much time in Oxford City Centre?
School is in a good place as it is around 15-minute bus ride from the residence and around 30 minutes to city centre. And I don't know why but I think Oxford is one of the nicest places that I could live in. The city is one of the most amazing places I have ever been and due to two big universities and so many schools, there are so many international students that you can hang out with.
What are the main differences between Kings Oxford and the school you went to in your home country?
I think the very big difference between my school and Kings Oxford is how unbelievable the students and the staff are friendly towards us.
What would you say to anyone considering coming to Kings to study?
I would recommend this school to everyone as I am having the best time of my life here. I used to study in the same school for 12 years in my country and I was scared of changing my school.
When I got to Oxford later than everyone else, due to my visa problems, I was even more scared that I cannot find friends, but people in school were unbelievably friendly towards me.
The teachers are happy to help you with any extra classes or courses. They give you so many opportunities to show yourself.