UCL Centre for Languages & International Education (CLIE)


Regina Loren Villamante

Meet Regina, she's originally from the Philippines. Regina completed the UPC with Humanities in 2021 and then went on to study Education Studies BA at UCL. Find out more about her experience below.

Regina UPC UCL foundation year student in London

What’s your background?

I am from a small city within a province in the Philippines and a pure Filipino. I attended the same private school from preschool to senior high school.

Why did you choose to study at UCL?

I had always been fascinated with the idea of being a teacher and when I found out that UCL is number 1 in education studies, I didn’t have second thoughts about pursuing my undergraduate studies at the UCL Institute of Education (IOE).

What course do you study now, why did you choose the subject and what is it like?

As I already mentioned, I always wanted to be a teacher so currently I am taking Education Studies. I would say that I'm glad that the course is more about the nature of education, instead of focusing on the subjects in education.

Before starting my course, I thought it would be just between students and teachers, however I learned that it is also between school and society. A school can shape society's perspective, for example, the social reproduction of seeing education as one of the most prioritized aspect of a person's life.

This has widened my perspective about education and understanding of current issues about it in a global context, which I believe can help me be a better educator in the future.

How has the UPC helped you in your undergraduate degree?

Academic writing and research methods were taught to us step-by-step during the UPC. This made my attitude towards writing be more critical and formal, which made referencing and communicating with teachers easier.

I also understand more now about how to voice my opinions and how to deal with independent study, because the UPC workload was similar to my current undergraduate.

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

Our year had to do the course online for the whole academic year. So, I admit that it was tough, however the tutors were really supportive and always replied to our emails and messages whenever we had questions and needed help. Also, our personal tutor and UPC mentor played a big part in keeping us right on track and asking us for updates.

I think the hardest thing was the reading and note-taking skills, as these were not practiced in my former education system. Nevertheless, we were guided throughout the year on how to improve this.

What advice would you give to a prospective UPC student?

I have a line in the back of my mind:  “Just know you have your own pace, don’t treat it like a race.”

I know how difficult it can be when you are surrounded by very smart people. Remembering this line helps me a lot to not be too stressed out with the pressure I am putting on myself.

What is it like to live and study in London?

When I arrived in London for my first year as an undergraduate student, I felt so estranged because it is so different from my home city - polar opposite actually.

The Philippines is a tropical country, so we don’t have this cold weather and we always have sunlight.

It is still taking more time to get accustomed to the new weather but still the timeless architecture never fails to amaze me. 

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

I already mentioned the difficulty of independent study because back home, everything is handed out by teachers, and they will ask for an output every day.

This is in contrast to the UK education system, where I am given a set of tasks for a week and won’t be monitored by tutors. However, teachers in the UK are more approachable, and I can ask them questions about the course or modules. This makes me more engaged in the course.

Where is your favourite place on campus and why?

I actually have two favourite places in the IOE. First is the computer laboratory where me and my friends would often meet and catch up on what happened in our week.

The other one is the silent place in the bottom part of the building, where I can be alone and focus on my work more.