Alton College's first two International students from High Schools in the People's Republic of China have successfully completed their UK study year and, subject to exam results, will progress on to top Russell Group Universities; Ziwen Chen (known here as Celine) to study Aeronautical Engineering at Imperial College, and Ke Xin (known as Mike) to study Finance and Accounting at the University of Durham.
Both students studied intensive one year A level courses in Maths, Further Maths and Physics and took their exam papers in their second language, English, alongside their UK peers.
Celine found her experience at Alton College invaluable and described the staff as highly supportive. She said: ‘This is no doubt the best choice I have ever made. The way we are taught at Alton College has really inspired me – as well as learning a lot of new material, I have learnt how to apply the knowledge to real life, rather than just practicing exam techniques and doing calculations!’.
Mike has also thoroughly enjoyed studying at Alton College. ‘Before coming to Alton, I had no idea what to expect but what I found when I got here was the freedom to study the way I want to which is quite different from at home’, he said.
Both students said they have made some fantastic new friends and would recommend the homestay environment for getting a real feel for life in the UK. Emma Willett, previously at The Petersfield School studied alongside Celine and Mike. This year she leaves Alton College to study Physics at the University of Birmingham, she said: ‘It’s been great having them at Alton College I’ve learnt so much about China and their different methods of studying, plus finding out more about their culture has been a real bonus.’
Having an International Programme not only benefits College students, but the wider community. This year, local children from Bohunt School who are studying GSCE Mandarin were given a chance to practise their conversational Chinese when our latest delegation visited from Shanghai. See here for full story
Alton College’s International Manager Andrew Cox said both students have worked very hard this year and the College is delighted how successful they have been throughout the course. He explained that in 2016 more International Students will be welcomed to the campus. ‘We have a larger group of Chinese students, some on a fast track as Mike and Celine were, and others will be on conventional two year A level courses. It is great to see how quickly they settle in to life in the UK, making new friends and learning about a new culture’.
International students are placed in homestay accommodation in the Alton area, and the College is still looking for a few more homestay hosts for next September’s intake. If you think you may be able to provide a room and a family atmosphere in your home, to support these students, please do contact Alton College and speak to someone in the International team.
On the right, Alton College Principal, Jane Machell handing over gifts on behalf of Xinghua City to Alton Mayor, Councillor Pam Jones.
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