UCL Centre for Languages & International Education (CLIE)


Yuxuan He

Meet Yuxuan, she's originally from China. Yuxuan completed the UPC with Humanities in 2020 and then went on to study Law LLB at UCL. Find out more about her experience below.

Yuxuan He - former foundation student stood in front of the UCL Laws budilding

What’s your background?

I am from mainland China, graduating from a state high school. I spent one year in a Chinese university (Beijing Foreign Studies University), majoring in Italian studies. However, my passion to study law drove me to make the decision to withdraw from that university and apply for UPC in order to pursue a law degree in a UK university.

Why did you choose to study at UCL?

First of all, UCL’s high reputation and extraordinary position on QS ranking attracted me the most, quite naturally.

Secondly, after evaluating a variety of university foundation courses provided by other Russell Group universities, UPC is undoubtedly the best. UPC provides special preparation courses for additional admission tests regarding certain undergraduate subjects. These courses are generally not provided in other foundation courses.

Thirdly, I love the convenience that comes with the special location of the UCL campus – central London.

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

I am currently a second-year student at UCL, studying LLB Law.

I have always been passionate about being a lawyer and promoting justice, and I am proud of my outstanding communication and public speech skills which contribute to being a successful law student.

The most fascinating part of studying law is that you get to see how law, politics, philosophy, and the commercial world are closely linked and functioning together. Law studies provide you with a totally different view of what the law is and how it works in real life.

However, it does come with huge challenges, and you will have to be prepared for substantial readings and competitions. You will also find yourself experiencing the so-called “peer pressure”, and you have to keep striving for the best of yourself.

How has the UPC helped you in your undergraduate degree?

The most important thing it taught me is the critical thinking ability which is proven to be crucial in my undergraduate studies. I also acquired excellent time-management skills during the UPC course.

In UPC, I was provided with substantial and detailed guidance on how to conduct research projects step-by-step which helps me in my undergraduate degree.

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

For the first time, I had to write a 3000-word academic research project and I had little idea about how to conduct it and what topic to choose. Being fully aware of the importance of personal tutors, I went to my tutors for help, and I made sure that I always went to them fully prepared. I was always ready to accept advice and ask questions and as a result my research project was awarded the first prize.

What advice would you give to a prospective UPC student?

As this is the very first year you will spend in London, you may be very distracted by the unique features of London, coming from an international background.

However, my first advice would be to focus largely on your studies first and try to stick to all the proposed agenda to finish your work in time. You will find yourself in a much more relaxed situation than many others.

Secondly, maximise the learning outcome in every single class through active participation and treat the reading materials seriously.

What is it like to live and study in London?

I find London exactly the same as my previous impression of it from all the movies - red buses, pigeons and crows, unexpected rains, British accent…

The roads and streets here are much narrower than those in my home city and people here are crazy about shopping.

I love that there are so many diversities in London. You can see that businessmen are walking alongside homeless people, the punks are drinking next to you in the bar, and a wide variety of foreign cuisines. 

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

I went to the Bloomsbury Theatre for a show performed by UCL students from the Drama Society. I was amazed to see heated topics like LGBTQ+, domestic violence and sexual abuse being directly involved in a public show on the stage. It is nice to see UCL students are really contributing to raising the social awareness around these topics and I feel proud to be part of the UCL community.

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

In the UK education system, there are seminars, lectures, and tutorials. I had to adapt to the different types of teaching. I had to understand the differences of focus between different types of classes and prepare for them accordingly.

I love the academic freedom provided in these classes. They really provide us with a place to engage in academic disagreements and the lecturers and the tutors always welcome academic debates as well.

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

During my UPC year, I lived in College Hall - University of London accommodation.

The Hall was catered, and it was only a 3-minute walk away from the UCL main quad.

In University of London student accommodation, you can meet a large variety of students from neighbouring universities in London, including UCL, King’s College, and LSE. They are from all kinds of academic backgrounds and from different countries. You will find it really easy to make friends and it is really a lovely community.

Where is your favourite place on campus and why?

My favourite place is Bentham House, where the UCL Faculty of Laws is based.

During my UPC year, I had several classes at Bentham House already and now as a second-year law student, most of my activities are also based there.

This is where I spend most of my time during my studies and it witnessed all my failures and successes in competitions. It also provides us with a common hub where we can socialise with our fellow students in a comfortable environment.