- Talking about
- Postgraduate pre-sessional English
My name is Yen Ting Yeh (Sherry). I graduated from National Taiwan University in 2015. Subsequently, in 2016, I studied on the Business and Management pre-sessional course at the University of Leeds Language Centre. Having successfully completed the programme, I advanced to my Masters course: International Marketing Management MSc.
After successfully graduating from the University of Leeds, I had an opportunity to teach due to serendipitous circumstances. As a result, I began a year-long teaching experience at a tutoring center. During this time, I learned valuable insights and skills related to management and event organization. Following a year of teaching, I began working for an educational agency, where I have been assisting students ever since.
Studying the pre-sessional
The pre-sessional course was most helpful in aiding my early transition to the Masters lifestyle and coursework structure.
The educational methods in Taiwan and the UK differ significantly. Taiwan's education leans towards a more passive approach, where teachers provide exam scope, and focusing on that scope can lead to high grades. In contrast, the UK's education is more proactive, requiring students to seek out research materials and information to support their arguments. Considerable time needs to be spent studying in the library.
What stood out to me the most was the genuine care the teachers had for us. They were attentive to our well-being and whether we were receiving the necessary support in our daily lives, as well as whether we had any academic concerns that required assistance.
During my time in the pre-sessional course, I was able to adapt to the Masters life sooner. This involved addressing time zone differences, setting up a bank account, and dealing with housing relocations. Tackling these issues during the pre-sessional course allowed me to alleviate time pressures and ensure I had sufficient time, which might not have been the case once the formal Masters program commenced.
Living in the UK and developing new skills
I think the most valuable skill I've gained during my time studying in the UK is the ability to independently solve problems.
As I arrived in a new and unfamiliar environment, there were many tasks to handle, such as NHS registration and collecting the BRP. Some of my classmates even needed to renew their visas before beginning the Masters program. These were all challenges I had to tackle on my own, experiences that I hadn't encountered back in Taiwan.
If you have the financial means, it's definitely advisable to consider attending the pre-sessional course! Apart from instructing academic English, the pre-sessional course requires you to understand the local traditions and become familiar with the surrounding area in the UK.
An interesting aspect of the pre-sessional course is that during this period, many students are already at the university working on their dissertations. This provides an opportunity to interact with senior students in your field, and access class notes, which can be immensely beneficial for your Masters program.
Sherry studied postgraduate pre-sessional English in 2016, and graduated from International Marketing Management MSc in 2018.