UCL Centre for Languages & International Education (CLIE)


Xianya Qiu

Meet Xianya, she's originally from China. She went on to study Statistics, Economics & Finance BSc at UCL following the UPC. Read more about her experience of the UCL foundation year below.

Xianya Qiu, former Undergraduate Preparatory Certificate (international foundation) student
Nationality: Chinese
Previous course at UCL CLIE: UPCSE (2015)
Current course: Statistics, Economics & Finance BSc
Current university: UCL

Why did you choose to study at UCL?

When I was in my last year at senior school, I wanted to experience something different in my university life. However, it was too late to study A-levels from the start at that time, so the UPC course was perfect for me. It gave me the opportunity to get into a highly ranked university, and helped me with the transition between two education systems.

The UPC course was taught on the UCL campus, which was important for me. Only by studying on the campus could I get the insight of what university is like in the UK. Not to mention that UCL is at the centre of London. I really admire that UCL is a big global university, thus we have the chance to meet students from different backgrounds.

What were the highlights of the UPC?

In my senior school in China, I was most interested in science subjects, so I appreciated the fact the UPC taught Science & Society. This sounded so interesting to me and it did not fail my expectations. We had the chance to choose topics of our own interest and did some research on them. We were taught to write essays, produce academic posters and oral practice. The learning methods were not only doing exercises. It was really fun and fulfilling.

How did an international foundation like the UPC help you in your undergraduate course?

Now I am learning statistics at UCL and the maths course in UPC prepared me fully with the knowledge that I needed to begin with.

The personal tutorial was incredibly helpful to my UCAS application. My tutor guided me through the process while allowing me to try everything on my own.

What skills did you learn?

UPC taught me how to efficiently study in university and made me realize the importance of self-study. There are many subjects to learn at the same time in university, and it may not be possible to understand them all in class. So self-studying is essential to be able to catch up with the course.

Another important skill I learned was how to write academic essays. It was hard for me at first. I didn't know what structure it should be and what manner I should use. After the specific classes every week that teach us how to write academically, I got a good grasp of writing and it helped a lot in my study now. In my degree, the result of a calculation may not be as important as the explanation of it and writing reports is a crucial task.

What did you do when you were not studying the UPC?

We went on a trip to the countryside to enhance our friendship with classmates. We were encouraged to explore London events such as musicals and clubs. Those were wonderful experiences. Beside all these, we are opened up to the big community of UCL.

What advice would you give to a prospective student?

Maybe London is quite scary when you first come here but don't be shy, open yourself to this new environment. You probably won’t find much difference between London and your hometown. This beautiful city functions the same as the others in the world. However, it has its own beauty and atmosphere. Just study hard, enjoy your life and live up to your own expectations.