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Vicky from Vietnam, A-levels in Maths and Economics


Thi Cam Van Le (Vicky) from Vietnam
Studying: A-level Maths, Further Maths and Economics
At: Westminster Kingsway College

It was 18-year-old Vicky’s first time in London when she arrived to study for her A-level qualifications.

‘I was so excited and nervous to come to the UK,’ she says.

‘My first impressions were that the teachers were very friendly and I liked where I study.’

Vicky decided to get her A-levels at a further education college so she could bridge the gap between school and university.

Further education allows students who have not been through the UK education system to gain the best qualifications to apply for university in the UK.

Even though starting out in a new country was a culture shock – and a test of her English skills –  Vicky found the teaching and living environment helped her settle in.

‘The teachers supported me when I started my studies, and helped to explain things in English until my language improved,’ she says.

‘I love to hang out with my friends in London – there is so much to do and I like to go and see the tourist places like Big Ben and go to music concerts.

‘There are many differences between Vietnam and the UK – especially the local culture – but in the UK, you have the chance to apply the knowledge that you gain in work situations as part of your studies.’

School to university  how can further education help?

If you’re planning to study an academic subject to higher education level but you haven't got the right academic qualifications yet, further education lets you do:

  • A-levels and AS-levels: The most popular route into higher education in the UK. Most students study three or four subjects, but you can study more or fewer than this. 
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme: An alternative to A-levels. IB students can select subjects so that they specialise in a particular academic field, but mathematics, native language and theory of knowledge are mandatory subjects. 
  • Scottish Highers/Advanced Highers: These are available in a range of subjects and are offered by further and higher education colleges in Scotland. 

Find out more in Further education: Courses and qualifications

Vicky plans to continue her studies and has applied to the London School of Economics to study Maths and Economics at degree level.

‘To anyone from Vietnam who is thinking of studying in London, I would say that everyone should come to London at least once in their life!’ she says.

‘It is like my second family at Westminster Kingsway College and it is a really good environment to study in. The college is a very nice place.’

Find out more in our full Further education section or search Pre-university academic courses for a list of what's on offer in the UK.