Tell us about yourself
Hi, my name is Kyuwon Lee. I am a Korean international student who recently completed the UP International College Fast Track Foundation course. I graduated high school in New Zealand, and through the UP International College Foundation programme, I achieved my goal of entering the university that I dreamt of.
Why did you take the Foundation Studies programme at UP International College?
Before pursuing study at UP International College, I studied the New Zealand national education curriculum NCEA. Unfortunately, due to the Covid pandemic I had to return to Korea ahead of the original plan so I could not finish the year 13 curriculum. I found out that UP International College provides a high standard online learning course and it was a perfect option for me in pandemic time. Also, it was very appealing that I can choose my own subjects that match my preferences so I made up my mind to study at UP International College.
Can you share with us your study experience?
I had a goal to study economics related majors at the university, so I enrolled for the subjects related to economics. There were many subjects that provided intensive information regarding the university courses. In term 1, I studied Government Market and Society. I learned numerous economics theories and how they work in our everyday society.
Furthermore, I gained an understanding of the conservative, progressive perspective on our society. From learning macro and micro economics, I had an approach to intensive level of economics theories and they were very useful in my university studies. At first, I thought I was confident in English so I did not put much effort in English class. However I learned that high school and university English are completely different. I learned university note taking skills and methods of writing university reports.
All these achievements were possible because of the sincere support from teachers and staff members. Teachers were experts and adapted all the teaching skills and they always kindly answered the questions we asked.
How did the semester (term) and timetable work?
Foundation courses consist of 4 terms like other schools in New Zealand. One term is a 10 weeks curriculum and at the end of the term, a month holiday was given to be prepared for the next term. I was familiar with the 4 terms system from studying high school courses in New Zealand so it was easy for me to get on with this system. Also, I believe that a 4 term curriculum is much more effective than a 2 semester curriculum in Korea.
At every end of the term, there is a big test so we can wrap up the term easily and start a new term after the holiday. Timetable was automatically made by the school after choosing the subjects. I can choose two academic subjects, and there are compulsory subjects such as English and Maori history. All the classes were one hour long and there were decent study periods in between classes so it was easy to plan my own study and rest time. The class called university life taught me how to make an effective note at the university and do a quotation in the right way. From that experience, I got confidence to study at the university.
Your grades and attendance rate are great. What did you do to achieve that?
As I took the online course I did not have to spend time in the morning to get to school so I could use time more efficiently. Also, the mobile application provided from school gave me a notice 10 minutes before every class so there was no difficulty to miss classes. While preparing for the test, anytime when I had something unsure I could directly ask the teacher and get a response immediately. Teachers recommended that I allocate twice as much study time as class time during exam week. I followed the advice and I got a high achievement in exams. The day before the test I went through online activities and mock exams to be 100% prepared for the test.
Which University did you apply for, and did you finally accept the offer?
In the last term of the foundation course, we get many chances to be in touch with AUT university faculty. Also, before graduating the course, university staff advise us how to apply to university a to z. If the student meets the university requirement, AUT staff will help us to get an offer from the university.
If you do not meet the university requirements, school staff will let you know what to do in the future to get into university. I was interested in not only New Zealand universities but also Australian universities. Therefore I applied to Australian universities with a foundation course certificate. From my high attendance and good grades I got an offer from The University of Sydney, UTS, Macquarie University bachelor of commerce.
Would you recommend the Foundation programme?
After finishing the foundation course, I could have various university opportunities, so I want to recommend this course to anyone who is interested in studying in New Zealand. As mentioned previously, this course brings students directly to the university and students can learn various skills required at the university. Also, I want to recommend especially UP International College for students who already decided to do the foundation programme. My friends who attended other foundation courses told me that in the exam week they get extremely busy. In contrast, UP foundation programmes distribute exams evenly so we do not need to get too busy in the exam week. Also, teachers’ support and efforts are outstanding in the AUT foundation programme.
What are your plans for your future?
Through the foundation course I could enter the university as a student of Bachelor of Commerce. I want to learn professional skills related to international trade and finance and get a job in the commerce sector. Also, after graduating university with an English course I want to have a chance in many international companies. I do not have a detailed plan for the future but I am looking forward to making them at the university.
Name: Kyuwon Lee
Foundation programme you studied: AUT Certificate in Foundation Studies (Fast-track) at UP International College