UCL Centre for Languages & International Education (CLIE)


Sunlex Lin

Meet Sunlex, he studied the Pre-sessional English course on-campus and is now studying Finance in the School of Management at UCL.

Sunless standing on top of the White Cliffs of Dover

What’s your background?

I’m from Taiwan and used to live in Taipei, the capital city. In my undergraduate period, I studied Economics at National Tsing Hua University. I chose to apply for a Master's programme in Finance at UCL, because I am interested in the financial field.

Why did you choose to study Pre-sessional English course face to face?

Before applying for the Pre-sessional English course, I received offers from the University of Manchester and UCL.

London, the UK's capital city and the top financial centre, is undoubtedly the best place for studying and exploring finance. Therefore, I put all my efforts into meeting the requirements for enrolling in UCL.

There are some reasons that taking face-to-face courses is more beneficial for international students.

First, if you have any questions during the class, you can directly ask your teacher.

In addition, you can only listen to one person talking during the online course. However, when it comes to group discussion, you will find it easier face to face.

Last but not least, it’s the same price, and you can also get familiar with this city before the term starts.

Which degree are you studying now and what is it like?

I am currently studying Finance in the School of Management at UCL.

My campus is located in One Canada Square, Canary Wharf. My class is usually on level 38 and the view is breathtaking.

In my first month, I gained much knowledge from the modules. Many extracurricular activities are on campus, such as the Carving Pumpkin Contest.

To be honest, the finance programme is quite intense. If you don’t have any financial background, I suggest you preview Statistics, Python and Linear Algebra before term one.

Fortunately, we have the Maths Camp during the summertime, so try your best to cover all the materials. It will benefit you soon.

How has the Pre-sessional English course helped you in your degree?

In the Pre-sessional course, we must prepare a small presentation in the finals, and the topic should be related to our programmes.

Thanks to this practice, I am no longer panicked about not only the seminar of my module but also being interviewed by a company.

What was the biggest challenge you faced during your time on the Pre-sessional and how did you overcome it?

The writing part is the most difficult one because I tend to overthink the article and make the wrong, unclear conclusion in the end.

Fortunately, we have a one-to-one tutorial with my teacher every week. I always share my thoughts and ideas with him, and he always gives me beneficial advice. I have learnt a lot from my teacher.

What advice would you give to future face-to-face Pre-sessional English students?

My advice to future students studying the course face to face is to:

  • Be eager to learn more and passionate about learning, because the more you engage in the class, the more experience you gain. Feel free to speak and ask questions.
  • Use the big opportunity you have to learn about English from a teacher who speaks English as their first language. Perhaps you may feel a bit different from the teaching pattern you were used to before. However, it’s a new way to learn a language.
  • Be confident with yourself and never be afraid of making mistakes. Just think of your first language. We should use them without hesitation in the grammar.

What is it like to live and study in London?

It’s pretty different compared to Taiwan.

First, the weather is colder than where I used to live.

Second, the price is much higher than in Taiwan, so I cook a lot. Perhaps learning how to cook is an essential skill for living in London. Finally, downloading the TfL and the City Mapper apps is so important. The bus and underground systems in London are pretty complicated. You wouldn’t want to get lost in the city!

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

About the group work in my programme, I actually find it satisfying when we successfully complete the task together.

When it comes to school events, I have attended a lot of activities so far. Sometimes, I would try to join a challenging event, for example, case competitions or workshops, to push me out of my comfort zone.

So far, I am delighted to study at UCL.

How is the UK education system different to your home country?

Compared to Taiwan, UCL cares more about engagement in class. There is maybe more group work and seminars than in Taiwanese universities. 

Where is your favourite place on campus and why?

Since my campus is in Canary Wharf, my favourite place is the study room at level 50. The view is spectacular, and I always feel relaxed when sitting near the window.

I am a music lover, so I used to go to the Jazz music club on the Friday night. There is a club called ‘Ronnie Scott’s’. I strongly recommend it to those who like Jazz as well.

Have you lived in UCL accommodation? If so, which residence did you live in and how was your experience?

Yes, I have. My accommodation is Eleanor Rosa House.

This one is relatively new, so I am satisfied with it. The single room is en-suite and the shared kitchen is big enough for six people.

Overall, I would give 8 out of 10 for my accommodation.