International Foundation Testimonials
"I'm currently studying at QMUL and doing a degree in Business Management. I'm in my final year. The IFP was great; it improved my academic reading and writing and also helped me with my time management. I enjoyed the IFP and met a diverse range of people from all over the world. I made lots of friends. In the future I hope to work as a business consultant or for a multinational organisation. The IFP is a great start to university."
Jane Nliam (graduated BSC Business Management (NN12), 2013)
"For me personally, I looked at the IFP as a stepping stone to get into a better university. It was also an opportunity to get back into the academic mindset after doing my military service. Overall, it has been a very rewarding experience. Thanks to the IFP, I feel I am developing new skills and habits that will serve me well at university and in life in general. In other words, skills not just limited to the academic but also skills useful in a professional setting. The diverse range of people has made my experience more enjoyable and enriching: I've learned a lot from the people around me. There is the right balance between lectures and seminars. The seminars are very enjoyable as you can discuss issues raised in the lectures in-depth with people from a wide range of backgrounds and gain new insights. It is the diversity of people on the IFP that makes it such a special experience. London is a beautiful city; it is such a diverse city. There's just so much to discover. I love the campus as it's just the right mix of nature and buildings. There are a lot of new buildings, but there's also a lot of history on the campus as well. The canal is pretty unique. It doesn't feel like you are in the middle of a city even though you are. I think the campus has a very calming effect. There's are so many extracurricular activities going on all the time on campus. There are a lot of different opportunities wherever you look in London. Indeed, there's far too much to do!"
Sang Yoon Song (IFP student and QMSU course representative, 2012, currently reading History and Politics at Queen Mary)
"What I loved about the International Foundation Programme was that it is designed specifically for the needs of international students. You're doing it in the university, so you are getting a real taste of what university life is like. Some of my modules on the IFP were taught by lecturers who are now teaching me on my undergraduate degree at Queen Mary so you get to interact with those who will teach you in the first, second or third year. You also get to meet people from all over the world and you really improve your global understanding of cultures and other aspects. During the year I improved both my writing and presenting in English, and this is very useful now that I am doing an undergraduate degree. I feel I have an edge over home students, especially when it comes to presenting. Also, I liked how the IFP took us on field trips. You get to interact with both students and staff and learn more about London too.
During the IFP, you get a taste of university. We passed through some experiences and challenges and we got to learn how to deal with them. For an international student, the IFP is the best experience one could have before university as it was designed especially for international students. It understands what international students want and need. It was a very good experience. Doing the IFP makes it easier to cope with pressure on your undergraduate programme. I found it really enjoyable and educational.
After I graduate, I plan to do a masters degree in finance. I want to work in financial services and contribute to the development of my country. Living on campus is great as you can go to the library whenever you need to and also go back to your room if you have long breaks between lectures. The IFP really gives you a feel for student life and gets you ready for the challenges of being an undergraduate. The more activities there are on the IFP, the better as this prepares you for university life and life in general when you have to juggle different responsibilities."
Ibrahim Mohamed Mohamed Al-Tayeb. (2nd year Economics and Finance at QM. Vice-president of the QMSU Arabic Society, 2012)
"As soon as I arrived, I settled in very quickly. My tutor was extremely helpful. My classmates were all very friendly and helpful as were my module teachers. I'm doing Economics, Mathematics for Economics and Business as my optional academic modules. The workload can be demanding, but there's enough time for everything. You need to work steadily. I'm glad that the programme is mostly coursework as there is something to do every week. I've really enjoyed Economics and Mathematics for Economics. These subjects have helped me improve my statistics and have really brushed up my understanding of macroeconomics. They will certainly be very relevant to my undergraduate studies. I'm hoping to go and do Information for Business at UCL and what I have studied on the IFP will certainly be relevant. I've met so many people including people from countries I never even knew existed. As a result, I've gotten the chance to share experiences and viewpoints with different people. I'm definitely more confident academically and socially. I feel like I have a good advantage over most people as I've experienced studying and living at university. English is my first language, but I've still managed to learn quite a lot â€“ especially with regard to essay writing skills. I live on campus and that's been great as it's made travelling very easy. I have also had the chance to share a flat on campus with people from different backgrounds. For London, it's quite good. I've also gotten a chance to get a involved in societies, especially the Music Society: I've shared my passion for music with interesting people. I'm in the main choir and I'm also in the A cappella group. We recently did a gala concert for the reopening of the People's Palace. It is a good way to meet people from outside the IFP. Being in London as a student is very different from most university experiences. In London you get a good mix of people. It's a really exciting city to live in. If you budget or find out about student discounts, it doesn't have to be that expensive."
Olusade Onabowale. (IFP Student. QMSU Music Society member, 2013, currently reading Information Management for Business at UCL)
"I came to the IFP programme because of my English as I only had IELTS 6 which was not enough for undergraduate entry. Before I started the IFP, I though it would just help with my English. Indeed, my English is ten times better than it was, but what was a surprise was the other modules. I feel I now have a better knowledge than home students. The big advantage is we are actually in the university with access to the library. I have some British friends who are undergraduates who struggle with meeting deadlines, attending lectures and also with being far away from home â€“ all things I have had to cope with this year. You have to organise your time. It's challenging, but I've made it. I live on campus and it only takes 5 minutes to get anywhere. I am less dependent on public transport. The halls are good value for money and you don't have to worry about bills. It's a lot less hassle. You can meet many people. There are nine people in my flat. Half are British and there are some Americans and Australians. You can share ideas with people from all over the world. Yesterday my flatmate said your English is much better: I was really pleased. At the beginning, I thought a thousand-word essay was hard work, but now I am happy to write 3,000 words as I feel I know what I am doing. We cover a lot of important topics in all our modules. EU students should certainly consider the IFP. I don't think I could have improved my English to this extent on another course. Studying in London can be a challenge because of the diversity. I experienced culture shock when I first arrived, but I feel I've overcome it. You can learn a lot from others and everyone has his own story to tell. You have to be open and accept the environment where you are living. It's my first time in London. It's a big city, a really big city with many opportunities. Part-time work is always possible. I enjoy London and feel I can fit in. I want to do pure Economics at Queen Mary next year. I'd like to do something with macroeconomics as a career. Canary Wharf and the City are really close to campus. London is one of the world's major financial centres.I've learnt more about the rest of the world. I have a friend from KSA and she told me a lot of interesting things. IFP students tend to be intelligent and open-minded. Most people are quite motivated and I feel my motivation has increased over the year. If you make an effort, it pays off. You need to appreciate it. It's relatively expensive so you need to value it. However, as an EU student, you can take advantage of available finance for your undergraduate studies."
Bartsoz Slota. (IFP Student, 2013, currently reading Economics at Queen Mary)
"I've learnt a lot from the IFP. Before the IFP, I wasn't in a good position to write long essays. In particular, it has allowed me to really understand the importance of paraphrasing. Personally, I've also learnt to work in groups. Learning is fun â€“ the way the teachers work is very enjoyable. We learn a lot. Before studying in London, my English wasn't that fluent. Here I need to speak English with everyone. My vocabulary in English has improved a lot and I feel I can convey my message much more effectively. My ELSS tutor helped me a lot in improving my skills. I now enjoy writing essays more. In fact, the process of drafting is surprisingly enjoyable. I feel much more confident that my English is ready for university study. I also feel that through my English classes I have developed my personality quite a lot and I am more confident in general. In terms of my maths skills, I've really improved. I hadn't studied calculus and probability before, but now I feel much more confident with these subjects. Learning economic terminology has also been very helpful. The resources you need for your studies are all free. I was able to access all Financial Times articles from their archive, for example. I have had a great experience living in London in such a diverse society. People come together in London in a good way. People are very respectful and they care about each other. Being at QM is the best experience. The overall experience is very good. Everything is on campus. The dorms are really nice. I can find halal food everywhere. The university cares about students who have religious beliefs and it is very easy to find places to pray on campus. Personally my experience has been amazing. I've joined the Pakistani Society and the Theatre Society. This is a good way to meet other students who may not be on the IFP. There is a huge library. Everything in one place is what I like best as it is much more convenient. I'd like to do BSc Economics & Finance. It's a good place due to its ranking and research profile. London is a great place to do Economics & Finance. The fee structure is also affordable. I've made some good friends â€“ people from different countries such as Romania, Egypt, Italy and France. Everyone is really supportive. The experience of making friends from different countries is great and I've made long-term relationships. The IFP team also arrange trips off-campus which help you find out about the city and its heritage and institutions. "
Jahangir Ahmed. (IFP Student, 2013, currently reading Business Management at Queen Mary)
"One of the biggest draws is the diversity which means that you can get first hand experiences of many different parts of the world. It's really different compared to other universities in London. Everything is on campus and whatever you want to do is all in one place. This creates a bond among the students. There's more of a common identity among all students living on campus. I've made friends from Maths and Dentistry, for example. This all helps to broaden your general knowledge. Presentations help you become more comfortable with presenting. Before I came to Queen Mary I didn't really know what structuring an essay meant. It's quite an intense course as well. It pushes you to climb greater heights. It's a challenge to take it all on at once. London is amazing. The biggest attraction is the diversity. I've met people from Korea, Brazil and even Iran. It's basically like the world in a city. The cost of living is on the steep side. It's easy to get to places. There are plenty of night buses. You can learn a lot on the modules. History is an amazing module. It's broadened my general knowledge a lot. You're more aware of the world around you. Politics is interesting. It opens your eyes to the world around you. I would definitely recommend the IFP. It's a good course, at a good university, in a good city. It is very important to carry our consistent reading. If you're going to do a degree in the Humanities and Social Sciences, you have to read a lot. It really is the foundation for your future studies and you learn to fly."
Joel Tan. (IFP Student, 2013, currently reading Law at the University of Leeds)
"I think QM IFP can offer a wider range of modules which enable us to gain more knowledge and skills. The IFP is never boring and the teachers are excellent. I think my English language skills have improved a great deal. I've had lots of practice. In my class, there are only a few Chinese students. There are lots of opportunities to improve your English and you get lots of support from both classmates and teaching staff. We have group presentations and we develop a lot of skills from our classmates. There are not that many Chinese students on the IFP so there are lots of opportunities to improve my speaking. The tests are challenging and the IFP is demanding, but a challenging programme cultivates a good student. I live on campus in a flat with five British students. This means I learn a lot about British culture and they provide a lot of support. They give guidance and advice. I enjoy living on campus (although there are lots of fire alarms). The campus is beautiful and my parents are impressed. I want to stay in London and study Economics and Finance at Queen Mary. London is a great place to study these subjects: London is the finance city and while on the IFP we have visited the Bank of England, the City of London and Canary Wharf. We regularly go off campus to explore London and deepen our understanding of British society. I have joined the Chinese society on campus. There are lots of work opportunities in London for those who want to work part-time."
Yuan Quan Yang. (IFP Student, 2013)