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Thi Thu Ha Phung (Fiona) studied for her A-levels at Kings before winning a place to do a degree in Business Administration at the University of Bath.

She talked to us about university life, and her experience with us in Oxford.

How have you found university life so far?

I think life at university is really different from college. You have to be more independent as a student. I’m involved in so many societies and activities at university that I need to be able to manage my time well. There are so many activities here! Freshers’ week (the first week) is when you meet friends and find out about all the societies and activities you can do.

Also, in universities the core structures are different to A-level. The lecture sizes compared to classes are so much bigger, for example.

In terms of the people you’ve met and friends you’ve made, is it a mix of international and British students?

Yes, it’s a mix although most are British as I live with 16 people in my house, 15 of them are British! I think this is really good because it’s good for my English and has also helped me to learn more about British culture.

On my course there are more international students — only 60% are British and the rest are from Europe and Middle East/ Asia.

Have some of the other international students come straight from high school in their own country, and do you think their experience at university has been different to yours?

Yes. I think they’ve found it harder. I know a Malaysian guy who came straight here from college in his country and he told me that at first he was really struggling. It was stressful for him to adapt — he was nervous about his language level, and how to make friends with other people. He didn’t have enough time to prepare, although I think he’s OK now.

Were the work placements in your course part of the reason you chose to come here?

Yes, this course is very unique. There are many universities that do placements, but no others that do two 6-month placements. That’s why Bath was my first choice.

There is a special office called the Placement Office — they help us by doing PDP, which is kind of a lecture that guides us how to do a CV, how to write a covering letter, how to answer interview questions. We have this once a week.

There are some exclusive placements that Bath University offer for students.

"I think I got cultural and academic benefits from being at Kings."

Could the placements be anywhere in the UK?

Yes, they can be anywhere although most of them are in London. I’ve already talked to some of my friends in London to tell them I might be there!

What exactly is the benefit of doing these two work placements?

I think the thing that I’m looking forward to most is getting the inside view into the area that I might work in. Maybe it could be banking, maybe it could be business, and maybe even more specific, like HR or Marketing.

I’m doing my degree in Business, so I’d like to do a job in business but I’m not sure yet which sector I’d like to work in. I’m hoping my placements will help me decide this though.

Would you like to stay and work in the UK?

Yes, I’d love to — it would be great if I could stay here for a few years, and then go back to Vietnam so I can contribute something to my mother land.

How would you say your time at Kings most helped you?

I think I got cultural and academic benefits from being at Kings. In terms of academic knowledge, the things I learnt at Kings are really helpful for some subjects I’m doing at university. Some things I already learnt at Kings — without that I think I’d be stressed in my course because of the intensity of the study. It’s more intense than at Kings, but I’ve had two years to prepare.

In terms of culture, of course studying at Kings for two years helped me a lot. I was living with a host mother in my first year and she’s a lovely lady. We had dinner together every day and we always had something about culture to talk about. She told me everything and I listened to her like I was listening to a fairy tale! It was all so interesting to me. I visited her during the Christmas holidays.

What are some of your best memories from Kings?

A difficult question! There are so many good memories. I miss my teachers, I feel so lucky to have had such good teachers. My Maths teachers were so good, really friendly and funny. I’m still in touch with them and they always want to know how I am. I also miss Maryann, the librarian, She is a lovely lady and helped me a lot with my application to university. Also my Economics teacher. I didn’t like Economics at first, I just studied it because I thought it would be useful, but after a few months she helped me a lot. I got a lot better and I grew to really like it.

Do you miss your classmates?

Yes, very much. We really had a lot of good memories together. We studied together, had lunch together and hung out together a lot too. Like a little family!

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The Kings Admissions Team