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Bellerbys College was my first step on the ladder to success

Posted 18 July 2013
College Graduation UK

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My name is Autumn and I was a student at Bellerbys College Oxford. My two years at Bellerbys College was one the best times of my life and without it I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Ever since I was young, I have always wanted to study in the UK. I was fascinated by the glorious landscapes, the rich culture and the vibrant community of the UK. Therefore as I entered high school, I started planning for my future. However, choosing school in a country miles away from where I lived proved to be an extremely daunting task. I was overwhelmed with all the choices available. Countless questions sprang up for which I struggled to find the answer: ‘Which region should I choose? Will I be able to afford the living costs? Is my English good enough?’ My dad and I attended many education fairs, contacted various agents and perused several brochures. The pressure gradually built up and it was getting extremely stressful for me and my family

My name is Autumn and I was a student at Bellerbys College Oxford. My two years at Bellerbys College was one the best times of my life and without it I wouldn’t be where I am today. Ever since I was young, I have always wanted to study in the UK. I was fascinated by the glorious landscapes, the rich culture and the vibrant community of the UK. Therefore as I entered high school, I started planning for my future. However, choosing school in a country miles away from where I lived proved to be an extremely daunting task. I was overwhelmed with all the choices available. Countless questions sprang up for which I struggled to find the answer: ‘Which region should I choose? Will I be able to afford the living costs? Is my English good enough?’ My dad and I attended many education fairs, contacted various agents and perused several brochures. The pressure gradually built up and it was getting extremely stressful for me and my family.

During one of the fairs, I was introduced to Bellerbys College. We simply took the brochure offered, thinking that Bellerbys would be the same as any of the other schools. The brochure had impressive statistics, and testimonials of many alumni. However, after several months of researching, we were already a bit jaded and sceptical, and were not massively impressed by the figures. We were soon approached by Bellerbys’ agent in Vietnam. The representatives were enthusiastic, helpful and gave me practical advice. I was intending to take a foundation course, but when the agent took a look at my transcript, he advised me against that. At that point I still did not know which degree I was going to pursue in university, and naively believed that a one-year foundation course would save me a lot of time and money. The agent told me that since my grades were good, and that I was not sure what to study at university, it was better for me to take A Levels. Although it was a two-year course, which would cost more money, A Levels would open many doors for me, and I realised I should not limit my choices and waste my potential. The agent proceeded to offer me a scholarship that would help me with my tuition fees. Good advice and a tempting offer!

After much consideration, we decided to choose Bellerbys. Bellerbys’ four centres meant that I had a say in where I would study (I decided on Oxford, because… it’s Oxford!). The wide range of subjects available made it easier for me to tailor my curriculum and study what I was interested in. I was also given the choice to live with a host family instead of staying in dormitory, so that I could soak up the brilliant British culture as I had always wanted. The agent helped me get all my documents and visa sorted out swiftly. Pre-departure meetings assured my Mom that I would be fine in the UK and enabled me to contact several prospective students of Bellerbys that would soon become my classmates. Everything went smoothly and in September 2010, I found myself on a plane heading for England.

My two years at Bellerbys College couldn’t have gone any faster. I had such a blast there that not once did I regret my choice. I was taught by so many dedicated and enthusiastic teachers who influenced and inspired me greatly. They shared with me their experience, helped me pick my university choices and pushed me forward when I hesitated. All the staff were exceedingly helpful and lovely. They went over and beyond their duty to ensure that I was well prepared for further education. They understood our fear and anxiety living in a foreign country and did their best to make our stay as comfortable as possible. I could not say thank you enough to Bob and Ian and Laurence and Linda and all my fantastic teachers. The state-of-the-art facilities enabled me to study with ease (I enjoyed the interactive white board so much that on my first day of university I was a tiny bit disappointed at the good old-fashioned inactive white board). The cosmopolitan nature of Bellerbys College also delighted me and opened my eyes. I befriended so many people from all over the world, from Iran to Russia, something that would not be available to me elsewhere. Oxford, where I chose to study, is a fantastic city. The dreaming spires of the University of Oxford provided a resplendent backdrop to my classrooms. Home to the oldest university in the English-speaking world, Oxford is full of brilliant students from various backgrounds, which makes the city so dynamic. It inspired me to dream higher and believe that I had the power to make my dreams come true.

I am now a PPE student at Durham University and Bellerbys College was my first step on the ladder to success.

Autumn Hoang

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