UCL Centre for Languages & International Education (CLIE)


Sarah Alobaidi

Sarah is from Saudi Arabia and studied the UCL International Pre-Master's (IPM) in 2020. She went on to study Advanced Neuroimaging MSc at UCL. Read more about her experience of the IPM below.

UCL International Pre-Master's student Sarah Alobaidi outside the 02 in London

What’s your background?

I completed my undergraduate degree BSc in Radiological Sciences, at Princess Norah Bint Abdulrahman University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Why did you choose to study at UCL?

When I first started to search for universities, I was looking for programmes that could develop my language skills, and at the same time, get the confidence and level that I'd need for my Master’s.

So when I found the IPM I was impressed by the programme design, and I thought that “this is exactly what I was looking for”. So applied for it!

What course do you study now and what is it like?

Currently, I’m an MSc student of Advanced Neuroimaging at UCL.

When I first started the IPM, I was not sure what I would do in my Master’s. I found my interests changing during this time, and I found myself in neuroimaging.

The course includes all of the advanced modalities for Neurology. It’s a multidisciplinary course which includes physical and clinical modules. The students on the course have different scientific backgrounds and the projects are really varied.

How has the International Pre-Master's helped you in your Master’s degree?

I believe the IPM was essential for refining my skills in many aspects as a postgraduate student. I experienced different perspectives of what postgraduate study would be like, such as tasks, challenges, deadlines and more.

It even helped me to find and decide on where and what to study for my Master’s. During the course, I received more than three MSc offers. With the help of my personal tutor Alison Evans - to whom I'm still grateful - I managed to decide and finalise my choice.

What advice would you give to a prospective International Pre-Master's student?

As an IPM alumni, I wish I had known some points about living in London. The main challenge I encountered was finding accommodation. It was my first time in London, I wasn’t familiar with the areas, and I ended up choosing a location far from the campus.

I'd suggest looking at the UCL website and Student Union UCL's website for help and advice on accommodation.

What is it like to live and study in London?

I heard a lot about London before I came - many people told me to be careful and alert while moving around the city. This is true to some extent - however, in my case I found London to be a city full of experiences. Every day is a new adventure, especially for students where we have so many privileges. Students here get support and discounts in many places around.

What is the most interesting thing you’ve done, seen, or got involved with while at UCL?

During the first term, we had the chance to visit the Royal Court of Justice with IPM tutors. I was thrilled by the place and the experience to have a mock trial with IPM students, where we had to play roles defending and representing the lawsuit to the judge.