Vitaly Okolelov

I finished the International Foundation Year – Engineering Route in 2019. By the start of the program, my Mathematics and Physics were already good enough for studying the first year of the undergraduate; however, I was not strong in English and needed to practice speaking and listening skills. Furthermore, I discovered significant differences between the British and Russian education systems, which required some time to adapt.

The main challenge of the year for me was the Academic Studying Skills module, which is the biggest module in the program with many diverse assignments that are teaching and testing the ability to present and document ideas/projects/findings in an academic way. I did not have similar modules before, and I admit that I used to underestimate the importance of it. In addition, Maths and Physics modules sometimes covered material different from what I had studied before or it was presented in a different way, so I discovered some new technical ideas as well.

Now, I am a Mechatronics & Robotics student at the University of Leeds. The International Foundation Year facilitated my transition into the first undergraduate year, because I knew what to expect, how studying is organised in the university and where to get help if such is needed. As a result, I feel very comfortable about my studying and I believe that my academic performance would not be as high as it is without the Foundation Year. Moreover, I decided to work as an Ambassador for new IFY students to help them in turn adjust to the university life and assist with the issues they could meet.

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