IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Q&A with Tian Ahn Leow

Tian Ahn is an Education Studies BA student, class of 2023. He talks to us about his experience of studying at IOE.

*From the 2024/2025 academic year onwards, this degree has been renamed as the Education, Society and Culture BA.

Tian Ahn - Education Studies BA student, class of 2023.

What were you first impressions of UCL?

UCL immediately struck me as a place of great diversity. I felt welcomed. A certain excitement filled the air as I wandered aimlessly from building to building, taking in all this historical institution has to offer.

What do you most enjoy about your degree programme?

The part I like the most about my degree is the amount of support we receive from academic staff. They actively listen to our feedback and quickly adapt course content, pedagogy, and assessment methods, drawing on modern education research.

Where do you prefer to study?

My favourite place to study is the IOE Library, where I can find a quiet place to focus while occasionally bumping into friends. Otherwise, you’ll probably find me studying at the Le Pain Quotidien along Tottenham Court Road.

What is the biggest challenge you face while studying?

The greatest challenge, and greatest joy, is learning how to lead a balanced lifestyle. It’s a common saying, but one only truly understands this when presented with the sheer amount of choice, hence opportunity, that a global university like UCL can afford its students. Every decision comes with an opportunity cost – it can be easy to forget this when diving headfirst into university life.

The part I like the most about my degree is the amount of support we receive from academic staff.

Tell us what it is like to live and study in London...

Living here has opened my eyes to an alternate way of life. I come from Singapore, one of the smallest, youngest, yet most economically successful nations in the world. Coming to London has helped me develop a better appreciation for the smaller things in life and made me realise some of the things I tend to take for granted on a daily basis. My longing for the comforts of home stem from the challenges I face living here in London. Throwing myself into the unknown has allowed me to discover new communities of interest, expanding my horizons and social circles.

What do you do when you're not studying?

When I’m not studying you’ll probably find me dancing salsa with the UCL Salsa Society, playing tennis with the UCL Tennis Society, or attending one of the UCL Education Societies coffee-and-chats. There’s always so much to do in UCL, and there really is something for everyone.

The UCL Careers Service is tremendously helpful in looking for summer internships and opportunities.

How has your scholarship helped you achieve your aspirations and what impact has it had on your studies?

I am a recipient of the Santander Scholarship Skills Students’ Union UCL Development Award. The money helped me travel to Rovinj, Croatia, where I attended the Croatian Summer Salsa Festival 2022. The experience allowed me to meet an international community of dancers and network globally with famous instructors. The experience made me a better dancer, leader, and exposed me to a culture I’d never dreamed I’d ever be an integral part of.

Have you benefited from any work experience or internships offered by UCL?

The UCL Careers Service is tremendously helpful in looking for summer internships and opportunities. Through them, I learnt of possible job opportunities in other countries such as China, USA, and countries in Southeast Asia.

What do you hope to do after completing your degree and have you used any of the services provided by UCL Careers?

The long-term goal is to work in Education Consultancy, but the most immediate goal I have is to work as a teacher for several years overseas. The UCL Careers Service has been very helpful in this regard.

Sum up your time at UCL in three words...

Exhilarating, Explorative, Educational.

Last updated 1 July 2022.