UCL Centre for Languages & International Education (CLIE)


Faraj Guliyev

Faraj is from Azerbaijan and studies at High School number 6 in Baku. Read more about his experience of the UCL Pre-University Summer School.

Faraj Guliyev, former UCL Pre-University Summer School student
Why did you choose to study the UCL Pre-University Summer School?

I want to study abroad in a good university and wanted to understand the basics of the education in the UK. UCL is very international, has good rankings and is very respected globally. When I looked at the rankings, I found that UCL was in the top 10 and I thought that if I was given a chance to take part in this course, I would go.

What have been the highlights of the course and why?

The relationships I've made with people. I am very easy going and I like to speak with people from different nationalities and to know about their cultures. The group were really nice and everyone was very kind.

I would like to study International Business or International Relations so meeting all those students from Asia and Europe was very helpful to understand their cultures. My school isn't so international, so this was very different for me.


All the classes were good, I enjoyed all of them! My favourite topic was the academic reading - I learnt how to highlight what is more relevant in a text and to think analytically. It made me smarter.


When we went to Brighton, it was so beautiful there; the sea, the amusement park where we hung out, the history of the place, the weather… I felt free.

What skills have you developed on the UCL Pre-University Summer School?

Faraj taking part in a Pre-University Summer School classroom activity

The research and presentation skills were very new for me. In my high school, we are given homework; we learn it and then we have to pass the test. There is a lot of writing.

Here, it is more creative because you have to present and apply your general knowledge. It helped to build my communication skills.  

On a personal level, before coming I think I was shy. When someone would look at me differently, I used to think I had done something wrong, but here I got more confident. People accept me as I am.

What do you want to do once you’ve finished high school?

My priority is to apply to a foreign university in Europe, and if all goes well, in the UK. I think the UK is the best in the world for education. 

The Pre-University Summer School will help me a lot because I am not yet entirely sure about which degree I want to study but it allowed me to understand how university works. There were different subjects like science and humanities, so it allowed me to try different courses.

What advice would you give to a student who wants to do the UCL Pre-University Summer School next year?

Faraj socialising with other Pre-University Summer School students

Before I arrived, I was worried because it was a new city and a new country and I thought that there would be a little number of students. In reality it was very different, I adapted to the city, there were loads of students. I would advise  the next students:

  • Be yourself in the classroom. Teachers accept you as a person first and then as a student.
  • Just walk in the streets, the mix between tiny and big streets and the atmosphere were great. I loved the Metal shop in Camden; If I had known, I would have brought more money!
  • Be patient during the first 2 days. People are shy at first but then it gets better.
  • Bring a laptop; I missed mine!