Alumnus: Yiqiao Zhang

After completing our International Foundation Programme, Yiqiao Zhang progressed to a University of Bristol degree. He is currently studying MEng Mechanical Engineering.

How did the International Foundation Programme help you?

We got one more year to practise. That's the benefit. Some people struggle in their first few weeks or months when they are freshers, but we don’t.

My English was not good when I came here. The teachers were patient and didn’t treat me like an idiot. They treated me as a curious student, keen to learn.

What advice would you give new students?

I would like to tell them that everyone is unique. They should find their own way and not follow others. People should make up their own minds about their studies.

How did you improve your English?

The way I learnt English was to try to repeat everything people said to me. I would follow the sentence and practice my pronunciation.

We took part in a lot of group work, doing presentations. That is a good way to talk to people and practice your English.

How did you adjust to life in the UK?

It was the first time I left my country and the first time I lived away from home. I gained freedom! Freedom is the best thing in world. Learning how to do things myself was an achievement.

I watched Mr Bean and Doctor Who before I came here. I watched things on the BBC. So I had an idea of what to expect before I arrived.

What do you like best about the city?

Bristol harbourside is good. I have an inflatable boat that I take on the river.

What are your plans for the future?

I have one more year on my course and then I will start to work. I don’t want to study anymore. I admire people who do their PhDs, but I want to make money!

Yiqiao Zhang, alumnus – China
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