Yuxiang Liu (Adam) from China will start the MSc in Modern Building Design at the University of Bath in September 2020. He completed the first part of the Skills Centre’s 20-week Pre-sessional English (PSE) course from 20 April to 26 June 2020 - the first time this course has run online due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Here Adam shares how the course has helped to build his confidence with English and prepare him for his postgraduate course.
Why I chose the University of Bath
First of all, architecture at the University of Bath is very famous all around the world. Doing the Pre-sessional course was a good way to get familiar with my postgraduate course in advance and it also helped me to improve my English skills and adapt to my future life in the UK.
What I liked most about the PSE course
All the teachers were very professional and friendly. Because the students' English level is generally not very good, the teacher always started with the most basic knowledge. The one-to-one tutorial was my favourite part because it was very free and I could ask questions at any time and enjoy a personal conversation with the teacher.
The key skills I developed on the PSE course
In my view, my speaking and writing skills have been significantly improved. At the beginning, I was afraid to speak English because I didn’t want to make mistakes, but the teachers were very patient and helped build my confidence. Although sometimes I still make some grammatical errors, I am not afraid to speak English now. In terms of writing, the teachers gave timely feedback on our homework and let me know my mistakes.
My main challenges on the PSE course
The first main challenge for me was to overcome my lack of confidence. I am not very good at socialising, even in my own language. But after spending time with my classmates for a while, I have completely overcome this problem. Another challenge is to deal with the different forms of assignment, which includes writing, conversation, and presentation, and that is still hard for me.
My tips to others doing the PSE course
I would definitely recommend this Pre-sessional course to other students. The course can improve your understanding of the language in all aspects - daily life, culture, academic. This will not only help your learning later but also help in your future work and life.
My tips are: don’t be shy, don’t be afraid to make mistakes and be brave to communicate with others. If you have any questions, ask the teacher - they will answer your questions patiently. Also, you need to manage your time very well. The time in class is limited, and reviewing work after class is very important to improve your English skill.
My future plans
I hope I can combine my professional knowledge as much as possible to learn English. I want to continue to improve my academic writing ability and presentation skills and read some books related to architecture in English. I hope to adapt to the postgraduate course as soon as possible.