UCL Centre for Languages & International Education (CLIE)


Yeats Lin

Meet Yeats from Taiwan! She progressed from the UPC to BA History of Art at UCL.

Photograph of Years next to Christmas decorations on a shop

What’s your background?

I am from Taipei, Taiwan. I started my UPC foundation after finishing my high school education in America. I took Modern European Culture and Classical Civilisation because the two subjects are strongly linked to where I progressed, a BA in History of Art at UCL.

Why did you choose to study UPC at UCL?

The high teaching quality and the thoroughness of the UPC curriculum attracted me. UPC courses are not only essential for university life but also help students to discover their passion. I believe the UPC will equip me with the academic skilsl and knowledge essential for undergraduate study in UCL. 

By being one of the world’s top universities, UCL is excellent in academic performance and is well-known for its internationality. With the abundance of educational resources, UCL creates a liberal learning environment that encourages students to elevate their potential. At UCL, you also learn beyond the classroom, because of the diversity of cultures from students all over the world.

What course do you study now and what is it like?

UCL is at the heart of London is one of the most exciting places for dynamic learning opportunities. For History of Art (BA) students, the course consists of lectures and seminars, which often take place in different galleries.

By learning about art in real life and absorbing new ideas from classmates in seminars, I have expanded my perspective and elevated my understanding of the subject. Some challenges I encountered are the efficiency of approaching required reading from the course and developing argument in essays.

How has the UPC helped you in your degree?

In the Academic English subject, I improved my writing skills tremendously. With great patience, the tutor enhanced our understanding of essay structure and bolstered our grammar in writing. The course significantly helped me produce high-level essays that meet the standards of the undergraduate degree.

Regarding speaking skill, the course strengthened my skill in giving speeches on stage. I gained much confidence in public speaking and learned the ‘art’ of coping with questions as a presenter. This skill played an important part in my undergraduate study as we are encouraged to exchange ideas in seminars. I can express my perspective thoroughly without the fear of public speaking.

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

Adjusting oneself in a new environment with university level coursework was challenging for me. It took me a while to make new friends and I developed strategies to cope with stress. I felt quite lonely in the beginning. However, everything got better after I met my best friends. Having someone I can talk to about worries and share things in life is important. Being a part of a friendship group improves mental health, and in my case, I often learn new academic skills from my friends.

What advice would you give to future UPC students?

UPC has a course structure that allows students to have a work-life balance. However, it is essential to know how to manage your time. Especially when it comes to the research project, one must monitor the progress at each stage. Also, addressing any concern one might have along the learning journey is paramount; never be afraid to ask questions in class! Others commonly have the same doubt as you do. 

Before starting the course, I was worried about conducting the research project, as I have never done it before. Nevertheless, UPC tutors are extremely supportive in guiding me through each stage of the research. I had never felt lost as we were given a wealth of information on learning strategies and skills for conducting research; this includes, finding the right sources, producing an outline and finishing the final draft.

What is it like to live and study in London?

My first impression of London is its overwhelming diversity. Being in one of the world’s most international cities, I learned how to interact with people from different cultures, which is very different from my home city.

Also, the fast-paced London life was difficult for me to adjust to in the beginning. It took me a month to familiarise myself with the new environment and people, especially with cultural differences. I got used to the pace of life gradually and learned how to organise my weekly life tasks, including grocery shopping, cooking, and commuting.

Living by oneself is a challenging but liberating experience, after I became more familiar of my environment, I no longer felt overwhelmed. Instead, I learned to enjoy living in this big, busy but interesting city.

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

Life at UCL has been full of excitement and new discoveries. By engaging in art related societies, I frequently go on field trips with friends and join curators’ talks and tour galleries and auction houses. I learned significantly from those events organised by societies. Those are also the best opportunities for me to meet new people and socialise with friends.

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

Compared to educational system in Taiwan, critical thinking and conducting independent research are valued more in the UK. We are often challenged to question the norms and develop our own interpretations.

During the research and essay writing process, I learned beyond course materials because of the individual interest in certain areas of the study. This enables me to discover my passion and to advance my knowledge.

The difference in educational system can be challenging, however, as I have to learn to be critical and to express my thoughts precisely in the learning journey.

Where did you live during the UPC, and how was your experience?

I was staying in one of the UCL Accommodation buildings, John Dodgson House, about 10 minutes walk from the campus. In this hall, I shared the kitchen area with seven other flatmates. It was a unique and memorable experience, it felt like having a family in London since you got to see flatmates every day. We shared wonderful memories together. It was also a great chance getting to know people of different cultural backgrounds.

Where is your favourite place on campus and why?

I personally love studying in the Archaeology library. It is always quiet, and the design of study desks enables me to fully concentrate and not be distracted by the movement around me. It also has plants which creates a relaxing and pleasant environment. The staff are nice and helpful. Moreover, directly outside the library, one can conveniently refill water bottles. A real plus for a long-time study.