A University Partner Success Story
Tell us about yourself.
My name is Jooyoung Bae and I’m from South Korea. I’ve just completed a Foundation Studies programme at UP International College, and I’m entering the University of Auckland to study the Global Studies/Commerce Conjoint degree course. I majored in art at high school but I didn’t want it to be my career. I’ve always been interested in world cultures and global issues and I had dreamed of studying abroad. I was lucky to find the right course in the right country.
Why did you take the Foundation Studies programme?
Why UP Education?
I didn’t take the right subjects at school and I didn’t have the grades to get into university. My English wasn’t good enough to study abroad either.
My agent recommended the foundation programme and UP Education, and I was happy to hear that they have been providing programmes for about 20 years. Knowing that the programme would get me into a good university meant I didn’t have to worry.
Why New Zealand and why Auckland?
There are a lot of great countries to study in but New Zealand sounded like it suited me. It’s beautiful, safe and friendly, and it’s less expensive than other countries. The University of Auckland is the best in New Zealand so this was an easy decision.
“There are a lot of great countries to study in but New Zealand sounded like it suited me. It’s beautiful, safe and friendly, and it’s less expensive than other countries.”
Tell us about Orientation Day.
Orientation Day was helpful and fun. We all got to meet each other and have a look around. We learnt about the schedule and what to expect, and discussed what we need help with and which subjects to choose. We got counselling and a lot of direction from subject teachers.
What is UP International College like and what are your classes and teachers like?
It’s a really nice, small campus in the city centre and close to the university. Class sizes are quite small, about 20-30 students. Teachers are experienced and very kind. Each student is assigned a tutor, and you get regular meetings to see how you are progressing and if you need more help.
How does the semester work and what subjects did you choose?
You take two academic subjects per semester, plus the English language class, called EAP. I chose Economics, Geography, Art history, and Accounting – subjects for my degree course.
“I’ve always been interested in world cultures and global issues and I had dreamed of studying abroad.”
How did you cope with study?
It’s not easy to write essays or answer questions in a new subject in a different language! But I had a lot of assistance and encouragement. Blackboard, the academic reviewing system, was really good. Regular meetings with my tutor to talk about my progress and any issues also helped.
What’s life like outside class?
There are a lot of after school classes and clubs and most of them are free. We played board games and badminton and I took a Maori culture class. I also took yoga – which is a very good workout and good for stretching after studying all day. We had bigger activities and went out on group adventures too. We had some great experiences.
Tell us about your accommodation.
I lived with a Korean homestay for the first three months. This helped me to settle in and build confidence. Then I moved to a private apartment in the central city with one of my friends from the programme. Although this cost a bit more than sharing a public studio it suited me better.
How was the student support?
It was very reassuring to know that homestay accommodation was carefully chosen and checked. We also had someone to turn to if we needed help. This was reassuring for our parents too.
What university application support did you get?
At the start of the second semester you go on a university campus tour day. There’s an introduction and briefing for the degree course you’re applying for. The school provides class time and support with your application, and if your course requires a portfolio or language records you get help from your agent or tutor.
What are your plans for your future?
I don’t have any specific plans yet. I’m just glad I’m ready for this next step and excited about the interesting subjects I’ve chosen. I think diverse experiences in the first year will help me make my choices for my career.
Would you recommend UP Education and UP International College?
Yes, because everyone is adept, experienced and caring. Teachers are meticulous in preparing for class and even the vice president is very helpful and always answers our emails promptly. The experience developed my confidence and taught me a lot. Also, the central city location is easy to access either for walking or by bus. It’s close to everything we need.
Do you have advice for international students coming to study with UP Education?
It’s important to improve your English skills for daily life as well as for study, so practice with your friends, homestay and classmates all the time. Study hard, set your goals high and never hesitate to questions. Also, get fit and strong so you can concentrate in class