Ad­vice on ed­u­ca­tion, skin­care, re­la­tion­ships and well-be­ing

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Ad­vice from the best in the UAE.

Q I am in my last year of school and I’d now like to study fi­nance in the UK. I’m told I need to do a foun­da­tion pro­gramme. Is that true?

A foun­da­tion course is de­signed to ad­dress the needs of stu­dents from all over the world. They’re tai­lored to stu­dents to en­sure they are aca­dem­i­cally ready and per­son­ally con­fi­dent enough to take on and suc­ceed at an un­der­grad­u­ate course. De­pend­ing on the cur­ricu­lum you’ve stud­ied at high school it’s pos­si­ble that a Bri­tish univer­sity will re­quire you to com­plete a foun­da­tion year be­fore be­com­ing el­i­gi­ble to ap­ply to first year.

For many in­ter­na­tional stu­dents lan­guage is the most daunt­ing as­pect of study­ing abroad, es­pe­cially if English is not the medium of ed­u­ca­tion, in spite of an ex­cel­lent aca­demic record. Foun­da­tion cour­ses will help you pre­pare, by pro­vid­ing fo­cused train­ing in the kind of English needed for note-tak­ing, crit­i­cally analysing aca­demic ar­ti­cles, es­say writ­ing, lis­ten­ing skills, etc.

A foun­da­tion course also gives you a chance to set­tle into ter­tiary study, which may be very dif­fer­ent to what you are used to, with the in­de­pen­dent learn­ing style and re­duced con­tact hours of­ten pos­ing a chal­lenge. The foun­da­tion course al­lows you to de­velop skills to suc­ceed in this, rang­ing from gen­eral study (such as aca­demic writ­ing, time man­age­ment and in­de­pen­dent re­search) to knowl­edge in spe­cific ar­eas re­lated to your cho­sen field. It gives you the chance to choose elec­tive sub­jects like maths and com­puter skills that are streamed ac­cord­ing to your field of study, pre­par­ing you for a de­gree in fi­nance or en­gi­neer­ing, for ex­am­ple.

A foun­da­tion course will also cul­tur­ally pre­pare you, mak­ing your move to a for­eign coun­try much eas­ier. If your in­tended field of study is very com­pet­i­tive or re­quires high marks, you may be wor­ried about meet­ing the en­try re­quire­ments. Once you com­plete the course and achieve the re­quired grades, you’ll be guar­an­teed en­try into the first year of your cho­sen un­der­grad­u­ate de­gree at your cho­sen univer­sity. Usu­ally avail­able only in the UK or Aus­tralia, foun­da­tion pro­grammes are now be­ing of­fered in Abu Dhabi.

SANJEEV VERMA is an in­ter­na­tional ed­u­ca­tion coun­sel­lor

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