UCL Centre for Languages & International Education (CLIE)


Dana Kamatay

Nationality: Kazakh
Previous course at UCL CLIE: International Pre-Master's (2016)
Progressed to: Investment and Finance MSc at Queen Mary University of London

International Pre-Master's Student Dana Kamatay

Where were you before coming to UCL?

I come from the south capital of Kazakhstan, Almaty city, which is well-known for its beautiful nature and delicious apples; it is the favourite choice for a vacation among locals and foreigners.

I graduated from KIMEP University, a North-American study system based in Almaty, which gave a valuable academic experience that helped me in professional and further academic careers.

Why did you choose to study at UCL?

I did a little research on universities in the UK before applying, looking at ranking, location, campus and importantly the programme. UCL had been reviewed on many websites as well as for the university’s position and programme’s position in the league tables; UCL is one of the top universities.

I also looked for a university that is located in London. In fact, UCL is in the heart of London, which was a good surprise to find out! There are many places to visit close to the campus such as museums, shops, the library and Regent’s park.

It was like love at first sight when I saw the main building of UCL; it is beautiful. UCL’s main library was one of my favourite places to study.

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

I chose the International Pre-Master’s at UCL to further enhance my skills in constructing logical sentences, critical thinking, and in general, become familiar with the UK system of education.

However, the International Pre-Master’s course gave more than advancing my writing skills as we were taught a lot of useful reading/writing techniques, thinking more about reflection; and I met lovely teachers and students during my studies. It was interesting to discuss the text materials with students from different fields, to know their views and consequently produce a new idea and enhance critical thinking.

My tutor Karen taught us a lot of useful techniques. I know far more than scanning and skimming reading techniques thanks to her; she also taught us how to construct strong arguments through observations in reading materials. The knowledge obtained from the reading and writing classes helped me to prepare for exams and writing coursework; as a result, I got distinction marks for all coursework during my Master’s studies.

What do you want to do once you’ve finished your Master’s?

I will work in a finance field to get practical skills, pass accounting/finance qualification exams after graduating Master’s. However, I am more inspired to be involve in an education field after graduating from the International Pre-Master’s course; this thought I hope to realise within 5-10 years.

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

I advise to future International Pre-Master’s students to do all writing tasks, be ready for the class discussions as you will get valuable feedback; organise study material in a way that will be easy to find and use. Furthermore, it is better to prepare questions for meetings with your tutor as they are a unique chance to enhance the skills that you need. Use free time to visit museums, parks, galleries; read articles and books as online library resources provide access to many good sources.