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Why Doing a Foundation Program Might Be a Really Good Idea

Why Doing a Foundation Program Might Be a Really Good Idea	 main image

Sponsored by the University of Warwick

Human beings progress through life at their own pace, so don’t worry if you haven’t yet met the entry requirements for your first choice-university. Your dream of studying at a top-ranked establishment doesn’t have to be over. There are other routes to a degree, like the University of Warwick’s wonderful international foundation program, which is specifically designed for foreign students in need of a bit of support and polishing with their English language and academic skills.

You improve your English language skills

Some universities offer foundation years specifically catering to international students in need of a bit of a nudge before studying in a second language. Such is the case of the University of Warwick, which incorporates up to five hours of intensive English language tuition into their international foundation program. Their English language certificate module, mandatory for all  students with an IELTS below 7.0, runs between two to five hours a week and is designed to train students to improve their conversational English and academic language skills.

You gain academic skills which will help you achieve an enviable degree classification

Of course, different universities structure their foundation programs differently, but the University of Warwick’s International Foundation Program features an academic skills module which covers vital areas of academia, ranging from essay-writing to critical thinking, to help you prepare for your degree.

Math and economics whizz Lia moved to Coventry from Azerbaijan, and praises the University of Warwick’s international foundation program for getting her up to speed. She said: “I admire how passionate the teachers are. They help us overcome our problems and find solutions. My teacher says: ‘any machine can make calculations, but we will teach you how to analyse it’.

“We are being taught to write coursework in academic style and attending lectures and seminars that are similar to undergraduate courses, so I feel mentally prepared.”

It’s the late bloomer’s golden ticket to a world-class university

The legendary fashion designer Vivienne Westwood quit her primary school teaching job at the age of 30 to open her first boutique in Soho, London, but it wasn’t until half a decade later that she achieved world fame and success. Like her, some of the world’s best minds and talents were late bloomers.

Foundation years were conceived for students with the potential to pursue an undergraduate degree but lacking qualifications to go straight into their course. That may be because they lack language skills, are still going through Clearing or took a break from education.

Warwick’s one-year international foundation program is one of the longest running programs of its kind in the country and more than 75% of its students on the course progress to top UK universities each year.

You delve deeper into a field you’re passionate about

Foundation years are also an opportunity to broaden your expertise in a field you hope to study at undergraduate level and even work in.

Dorsa, from Iran, received an acceptance letter from a well-known university in Iran, but she chose to move halfway across the world to study at the University of Warwick after meeting with the UK university's philosophy department. It was love at first sight.

Dorsa said: “It's been brilliant. I found a lot of support throughout the program and I have improved a lot, and seen other people improve along the way. The program gives you a broad knowledge but also goes in depth into subjects you will need in your undergraduate course.”

If you think a foundation program might be right for you, make sure you compare foundation programs at different universities, as each one will offer different specializations. The University of Warwick, for example, runs as many as five foundation programs in law, science and engineering, the social sciences, maths and economics and business studies and economics.

Think the University of Warwick’s international foundation program sounds like it might be your cup of tea? Why don’t you drop their admissions officer a line?

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