Attending a sixth-form college prepares young prospective students for study life abroad.
Many parents and guardians worry about the best international study pathway for their wards and often their anxieties go beyond how to process admission or the right university to apply to; they also worry about the life of their children abroad and how they would fare in a new country as a young foreign student.
In this piece, Light Okoh-Peter – a Westerfield College alumnus describes how attending a sixth-form college here in Nigeria helped her gain admission into her dream university in the UK and how the friends she made at the sixth-form college made her life as a young foreign student abroad easy and tolerable.
Which university did you attend, the country, and what is your area of study?
I attended the University of Hertfordshire, UK for my LLB degree in Law and the University of Law in Leeds, UK for my LLM degree in Company Law.
How would you describe your experience as a Nigerian student? How’s the Nigerian community in the University that you attended?
My experience was quite exciting. Though I experienced some cultural shocks at first then I got accustomed to things and later found the Nigerian community, and their company helped in a lot of ways.
The teaching method at the University of Hertfordshire is also outstanding and really allows you to understand the key learning areas for your chosen course of study. Lecturers are very friendly and highly professional at the same time totally approachable you even call them by their first name.
The Nigerian Community at Hertfordshire is strong and there is also the Afro Caribbean Society which had a vibrant mix of Africans in the diaspora.
Are there certain experiences of culture shock that you can share?
Yes! During my early days in the UK, it was shocking to see how everybody stayed on their own generally and everyone minding their business. Then when I returned for my Masters, I had some issues with the currency,I had no idea the £20 notes have been changed to polymer notes.
Which study pathway did you take in getting admission to your University?
I attended Westerfield College, a sixth-form college and it was their Foundation program in Law with my WAEC certificate that I used to gain admission for my undergraduate study in law at the University of Hertfordshire.
I was also offered 2,000 pounds off my fees as a result of good grades at Westerfield College.
How would you describe your experience at the sixth-form college?
For me, Westerfield College was a training ground for the University experience as it exposes you to the conditions and learning experience that you would encounter in the University. Westerfield truly breaches the educational gap between secondary school and the University with their course-based approach to learning.
And the environment exposes you to the right people and broadens your horizon. It is also a fun place to be
Are there certain advantages/edge your experience at the sixth-form college gave you as an undergraduate in a foreign University? – Did it prepare you for life at the university?
Attending a sixth-form College in Nigeria was helpful, to a great extent, in settling down and adjusting to life as a foreign student in the UK.
I did not feel lonely as about 5 other students from Westerfield college were in the same university as me during my set. So, I had friends around me which is really important when you are settling down in a new country.
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Source: Degrees and Careers