Yunpeng Zhu

MEng Civil Engineering

Yunpeng previously studied a foundation programme with NCUK in Wuhan. You can find out more about Yunpeng on his student profile. Yunpeng Zhu 170x250

Before studying at the University of Sheffield, I was a second-year high school student and then I took the International Foundation Year (IFY) programme at the NCUK Wuhan centre.

I chose the NCUK IFY program because it was only one year and the tuition fee compared favourably with foundation years in the UK. I thought it would be easier for me to adjust and I could receive more help to study some English things in my home country, where the teachers were all English native speakers and they were schooled on lecturing in English.

On my IFY programme, I studied engineering-related subjects including maths, further maths and physics. Many subjects we studied on this course were not covered in previous study, but were expected to be used for the first-year university course. In English classes we were taught how to write in report formats. Our teacher helped us improve our language by pointing out even tiny mistakes, such as a comma in the wrong place.

Now I am at the University of Sheffield, my subject is civil engineering and our Department has a high reputation throughout the world, from both the rankings and the evaluation of the fellow students. I find that study in Sheffield means not only attending lectures and passing exams. We also learn a lot from practical tasks, such as bridge design projects, field trips and from industrial partners.

The most enjoyable thing about studying my subject in Sheffield is that we can communicate with people from different countries having different backgrounds. Our class is like a family and whenever someone has a question everyone else is willing to help.

I think the teaching and study methods at this University is very efficient and effective. In our engineering department we have about twenty hours contact time per week, including the lectures where lecturers give presentations and tutorials where we can ask questions of the teaching staff.

The best thing about studying with NCUK for me is that we can gradually adapt to the English style of lectures during this foundation year. Without the foundation year we would have been struggling with the English lectures at the moment at University.

Sheffield is a great city to study in because it is one of the greenest cities in the UK. Sometimes I enjoy going for a walk in the parks with my friends. Sheffield also has good night life and we also enjoy chilling in a club.

After finishing my BEng course I will apply for a Masters course. Hopefully I can get a first-class degree and then find a construction-related job in the UK. Alternatively, I will continue with PHD study in the U.S.

As language can be a major problem for Chinese students going abroad, I would advise that prospective students find every chance to practice their English. They need to be open to talk and be active in class. Also pay attention to your ongoing subjects. You will find what you have learnt in the foundation year extremely helpful and highly related to your chosen modules in the university.