Tricia: Reflecting on my time at the International Study Centre

23 September 2021
Student Tricia cuddles a small dog on a beach

Student ambassador Tricia from Singapore studied the International Foundation Year in Health, Medical and Life Sciences and is progressing to MBBCh Medicine at Cardiff University.

My time at the International Study Centre has been an enriching and fruitful experience, despite spending most of the academic year online and not being able to meet my classmates face to face. Looking back, I was initially anxious about starting my foundation year online in a completely different time zone and not knowing anyone. However, at the end of the year, I have made a few friends and we are all progressing to different degree courses in Cardiff University together. The year flew by quickly, and at times seemed like a great hustle with multiple assignments, tests, and examinations. Upon reflection, here are 3 tips to make the most out of the year:

1. Be open

Everyone is from different countries and cultures. Having an open mentality will allow you to learn more about others and make friends from different countries and background! You should also be open to the various activities or programmes that the International Study Centre have planned, or clubs & societies in the university. All these are various outlets for you to know more people and make more friends.

2. Be consistent

Plan your schedule well so that you do not end up rushing on your assignments or cramming during the exam season. At the start of the year, there are module handbooks which gives you a timeline of the different assignments and tests, as well as the different topics that you will be learning. Whenever an assignment is being given, you can also plan a rough schedule to work on it such that you can complete it in time. With a well-planned schedule, you will also have enough time to do the things you enjoy without feeling guilty about not studying.

3. Be focused

Remember why you decided to do the International Foundation Year and what your eventual goal is. For most of us, it would be to attain progression to university. During stressful moments when you feel like giving up, remembering your eventual goal can be helpful. Different pathways have varied requirements for progression to courses in university. Thus, it is paramount that you should know the specific progression requirements for your goal. Knowing the specific progression requirements would also enable you to assign your studying time for different modules.

All that being said, the most important would be to remember to take care of yourself and knowing where to get help from. Whether you are moving abroad to study or studying from home, there would be different challenges involved. Starting higher education may also be different from high school education. Therefore, it is good to know who to seek help from as there are people such as your friends, the tutors and the ISC staff who are able to help you!

Find out more about studying in Wales.