UCL Centre for Languages & International Education (CLIE)


Ramtin Amintafreshi

Meet Ramtin, a former International Pre-Master's student who went on to study an MSc in Finance (Corporate Finance) at King's College London. Read more about his experience below.

Ramtin UCL IPM student outside Buckingham Palace

What’s your background?

I am from Tehran, Iran. I studied a Bachelors in Business Management at Allameh Tabataba'i University for 4 years.

After completing my degree at the age of 22, I decided to study abroad.

Why did you choose to study the UCL Pre-Master's?

I was looking for somewhere to improve my English proficiency before my Master's degree. This was mainly because Master’s courses are often just one year in the UK and there is not enough time to handle all the other challenges at the same time.

In addition, having sufficient knowledge of the academic world at UCL would help me with my postgraduate studies and research.

How has the IPM helped you in your Master’s degree?

First of all, the IPM has given me the self-confidence to study and communicate in an English language country. Secondly, it has increased my ability to go deeply into academic papers and sources and understand them properly.

Thirdly, I now have sufficient English proficiency to feel comfortable, especially in terms of academic life and writing a dissertation. Fourthly, I've become familiar with the UK education system and feel comfortable on my graduate degree.

What was the biggest challenge you faced during your time on the IPM?

As you can easily guess, the coronavirus pandemic affected me from many aspects. Overnight, everything changed in the UK. All the classes went online, which required further effort at first to get used to it. This meant that I had to tried hard to keep my focus and achieve the same outcomes.

What advice would you give to a prospective IPM student?

I would recommend you keep going and do not stop with your plans. Maybe the online classes seem a bit frightening at first, but there is nothing that you need to worry about.

Believe that the course members and lecturers are preparing to overcome the challenges of the current situation. This is always up to us to turn this threat into an opportunity. You can always extract whatever you need from the course even with tough situations.

What is it like to live and study in London?

Woooooowww.... . There are so many things that I can say. Beautiful and huge city, great people and classmates, so many fun and interesting things to do (of course in a normal circumstances), multicultural communities, and for sure, expensive.

What was your accommodation like?

I live in UCL accommodation called Astor College. This is the newest hall from UCL which they just opened on my arrival. This is less than 3 minutes to most of the UCL buildings and it is in the best and safest area in whole London since it's very central. I had an en-suite room with a shared kitchen.

There was a perfect atmosphere in all the accommodation and there was always something to do with other residents, if you can find spare time. I had 6 other flatmates who were really nice and all natives, so there were a lot of opportunities for me to improve my English outside the classroom.

In terms of support, the accommodation staff are unbelievably lovely and happy to help you. I found them really friendly and they would have done anything for me, even more that what I expected.

Can you recommend somewhere to eat around campus?

Due to the fact that the university is located in the centre and close to the main streets, there are always so many things that you can try which is hard to make a decision. However, if I want to be precise, these are my suggestions:

  • University food hall which is located in the main building lower ground floor.
  • Planet Organic on Torrington Road
  • Restaurants on Tottenham Court Road such as Leon, Wasabi, Itsu.
  • Thursday food market in front of Birkbeck University.
  • The top floor of Birkbeck University which is another food hall.
  • Circolo Popolare restaurant if you are looking for somewhere fancy near campus and just 5 minutes' walk.

There are also so many restaurants in Charlotte Street just 3 minutes walk from campus (near Astor College hall of residence UCL where I was).