Studying the Advanced Level Foundation online from Indonesia
Earlier this week, we spoke to Vedie, who is studying the Advanced Level Foundation course with Kings Bournemouth. He is currently studying online from his home in Indonesia and is hoping to travel to Bournemouth to continue in person from January 2021.
We asked him about how his course is going so far, and how he’s finding the experience of studying online.
Hi Vedie. Which Kings course are you taking, and which subjects do you study?
I’m taking the Advanced Level Foundation, and I’m doing modules in Maths, Physics, and also Biology. Andy [Director of Studies] and Maureen [Maths Teacher] suggested I take Further Maths too, so I’m taking four subjects now.
How has your experience of studying online been so far?
I think it’s been great, but because I don’t study in person there are some minor differences that I feel. For example, when you meet people face-to-face you can communicate with them very easily and I can just ask questions whenever I have them. When studying online, sometimes the speakers don’t work, or when I want to note something the camera feed freezes or I have internet problems.
I have been kind of tired because when I start studying here it’s 2.30pm, and I finish studying around 10.30pm.
Are your classes also recorded so that you could watch the lesson later?
Actually, I always join the class live as I feel like I can ask more questions if there’s something I don’t understand. I’m the type of person who will always ask questions until I understand.
For Further Maths, even though it’s quite difficult for me, I’m still doing my best and if I don’t understand something I will stay late after class and ask the teacher for help.
That’s great that you’re still able to reach out to your teachers after class and speak to them in the same way you would at school. How do you usually communicate with your teachers in Bournemouth?
I usually communicate with them through Microsoft Teams.
Is this the first time that you’ve studied online?
Previously I was at an International High School in Jakarta and there was some online study here, however the teachers were only teaching online students, whereas with Kings the teachers and teaching online and in-class students at the same time, so it’s a little different. The teacher has to split their attention between the online and classroom-based students.
Also, I took the Kings English SmartClass for 1 month over the summer. I had lessons with one of the teachers at Kings Los Angeles, Billy Bodin. He was teaching me English and it was a great experience! Sadly the course was only 1 month, because Billy is very good fun — I liked his teaching style.
Have you felt supported by the Kings Bournemouth team?
Personally I think that the teachers here are very supportive. Whenever I have a question, especially when logging into Teams for the first time, Marsona [Kings Academic Administrator] helped me a lot. I was messaging her telling her I have a problem and she was very welcoming and helped me through it all.
"Whenever I have a question and ask a teacher, they’re always willing to help even though it’s the end of the lesson."Like I said before, I always ask when I don’t understand something. For example, I asked Alison [Kings Bournemouth teacher] about Physics after the lesson for 5 - 10 minutes and she was okay with this.
That’s great. It’s good that you feel like you’re able to ask questions and get the support you need.
Are you thinking about your university applications already? Have you met with your UCAS Counsellor?
Yes, last week I had a meeting with Sarah, my UCAS Counsellor, and she helped me to find the universities that are best for my subject. I want to study at university in the UK, and I will take Computer Science.
Do you know which universities you might be interested in yet?
I’m going to apply to University of Manchester and Sarah told me that Bath and Glasgow are also good for Computer Science. I’m thinking of applying to those three, and I’m not sure about the other two yet. Their entry requirements are very high though — they’re like A*AA!
When are you planning to travel to the UK? What are you looking forward to about studying in person at Kings Bournemouth?
Yeah I’m really excited — I can’t wait to go there. I’m excited not only to study, but also to have a lot of international friends. It’s not only important to have excellent grades, but to have good communication and a good network of people is very important. I’m looking forward to having new experiences.