Preparing to study Sport Management at university in the UK
Keun Il Lee (Tom) from South Korea talks studying and sport in an interview about his time so far on the Advanced Level Foundation at Kings Bournemouth, and his plans for university.
Hi Tom. What made you decide to come to Kings?
I used to go to high school in Thailand. After that I had a year of university education in Korea. But after that I realised I really want to study Sport Management and I found out that the UK is one of the best places to study it. So that's why I decided to study at Kings.
Can you tell us about the course you are studying?
It's called Advanced Level Foundation — it's a year-long course which prepares you to get into university. But I started in January so it will be a little shorter than others, but we do the same. We go over the same course.
What is CSS, and have you found it useful?
CSS (the Communication and Study Skills module) is a compulsory subject where you learn a lot of English skills that you need. You need it in university education. So we do a lot of writing, speaking, taking notes, and listening to lectures. This term we're working on presentation skills and at the end of this term we'll each have about 10 minutes to present whatever subject we choose to talk about. So it really helped in bringing my confidence up — we did a lot of intensive writing just to prepare for the for the assignments as well.
In the first term we worked a lot on writing and I found it really helpful because writing was one of the areas of English where I really wasn't confident.
Can you tell us about what helped you to understand all the university options?
First of all I would have to thank my UCAS counsellor, Kate, because she definitely provided a lot of information with regards to that, but also we had our university fair in Oxford. We had a day of travelling to Oxford and visiting one of the universities there, and also the university fair, where there were about 30 to 40 universities. I got to talk to a lot of the representatives of each university and to find out about their courses and what it's really like there.
There's definitely a lot of information that I got from Kings about universities. My first choice is definitely Loughborough because it is one of the most well known places for sports. And currently I'm holding an offer from there. (I also have offers from) Bath and Coventry and I'm waiting to hear from Durham and Birmingham.
What's your favourite sport and how do you practice it here at Bournemouth?
My favourite sport is definitely football. At Kings we have a school team, which is a team based not only the academic department but also the language department. So every week we play at Littledown, which is a place about 20 minutes from the school. We have a coach from Bournemouth University who is currently going through the process of getting the official coaching license, so under him we play every week on Saturdays, that's when I get my practice in.
And you have a pretty famous team mate?!
Yes, we have a student who used to play on the academy team of Atletico Madrid until last year. He's been playing professional football for quite a while as a centre-back there! He came here to study English for a couple months and we've been blessed to have him on the team, and to be able to play with him.
What are the best things about Kings?
The best thing about studying at Kings would be just making the transition process from high school to university education in the UK. Kings definitely makes it a lot easier because it equips you with a lot of the skills that are required in university.
And as international students you could say that a lot of them wouldn't be as ready as they were if they didn't go through this process. And definitely for me, as I said before, like in terms of writing skills I don't think I would have been as ready as I am right now if I weren’t to go through this process.
How do you think Kings has enabled you to aim a bit higher when planning for university?
I would say there is a lot of different aspects to this. But one of the things is because you're going through a year-long course of academic subjects at Kings, universities look at those grades primarily, so you really have this — almost a second chance — at really studying hard and getting the required grades for the top universities.
And also, I think this is what I mentioned before, all the subjects like CSS and Data, the required subjects, really help you get those English skills up a little more. I have a lot of friends who didn't used to have that IELTS requirement, but since they've been here they've been able to improve those skills, which helps them meet the requirements for top universities.
So yeah, Kings definitely help you in reaching the top universities.