Duy Bang Thanh Dao (Liz) studied A-levels with Kings before starting a degree in Business Management (with year in industry) at the University of Exeter.
We met up with her during the spring term of her first year to find out about her experience at university in the UK so far.
Is university life how you expected?
I expected to spend quite a lot of time by myself, but I have met a lot of friends. I have good accommodation in the city centre, which I share with other university students.
Did you have help to decide on which universities to apply for?
Yes, Melrose and Maryann, Alex too, and Paul (course director). They were all a great help. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for their help. They put in a lot of effort and provided guidance and were really dedicated.
Were you specifically interested in this course because of the year in industry?
Yes. I think the more experience you have, the better chance you’ll have to get into an employer’s eyes. There are so many people, how can you stand out from them otherwise? Also, Exeter was ranked quite high for Business and Management.
"At Kings I could familiarise myself with all the core stuff — the assignments and the teaching methods are the same here, we just have bigger classes!"
In terms of your workload and seminars, is it very different from Kings?
Yes. I expected it to be different, but in the first few lectures I thought, 'They’re going so quickly!' It wasn’t like Kings where there are small groups and you can ask if you don’t understand or have questions. I felt a bit pressured at first and that it wasn’t easy to ask for guidance, although they do have office hours where you can ask questions.
What would you say has been most useful of all the things you learnt at Kings?
Usually our teachers talked to us like friends not like teachers, and that’s the same here with our lecturers so that has helped. I feel comfortable here.
"Some had to study a Foundation here at Exeter, and usually other universities don’t accept that, so I think it’s quite hard that way. It’s better to have the choice about where to go."
Do you think you’ve had an advantage over some other international students because of your time at Kings?
Definitely. At Kings I could familiarise myself with all the core stuff — the assignments and the teaching methods are the same here, we just have bigger classes! I am already familiar with the English lifestyle too. I don’t have to worry about anything.
Some had to study a Foundation here at Exeter, and usually other universities don’t accept that so I think it’s quite hard that way. It’s better to have the choice about where to go.
For two years we spent a lot of time learning and absorbing. Studying Economics at Kings has been so useful for my course — maybe if I’d have stayed at school in Vietnam I wouldn’t know the terminology that I need here. Kings gave me a really good foundation.