International Student Experience studying PGCE

by | Apr 29, 2024 | Education, Postgraduate, teacher training | 0 comments

Hello, my name is Samantha Chu, and I am an international student pursuing a Primary PGCE course. I would like to share my experience with you as an international student on this course.

Writing this blog has brought back all the memories of my time before attending this course. There are several things you need to take care of before coming to the UK to attend the course. First, you need to apply to three universities that offer the Primary PGCE course through the DfE website. As part of the application process, you will need to submit a personal statement. Once you are shortlisted, the university will invite you to an online interview. I remember feeling excited yet nervous when I was interviewed by The University of Manchester. Two days after the interview, I received an offer, marking the beginning of my PGCE journey.

When it comes to your life in the UK, make sure you apply for a student visa and find suitable accommodation for yourself. There are plenty of options available in terms of student accommodations. You may choose to share a house with other students or live on your own. Personally, I chose to live with other international postgraduate students because I believe it is beneficial to live with people from different backgrounds. It allows us to learn from each other’s heritage and grow as individuals. During my 8 months of studying so far, I have made many good friends. We have been dining out together and celebrating various festivals as a flat.

In preparation for the PGCE course, an email will be sent to you during June or July, outlining what you should prepare and what reading materials you can go through before starting the course in September. It is important to follow all the instructions and read the materials, as they will give you a general idea of what the course will entail. You will also receive a pre-programme handbook that provides information about what to expect during the 10 months of study, such as the number of placements and assignments.

Throughout the course, you will have a total of 5 placements, including 2 long block placements. I was nervous on my first day of placement because I didn’t know what to expect, including the routines and procedures. However, the first day went remarkably well because everyone in the school was friendly, and my mentor was willing to teach me everything I wanted to know.

Our course leaders have provided us with a wealth of resources as international students. We have been assigned an expert from the university to assist us with academic projects. We can ask questions about the education system or school settings in England, which helps us familiarise ourselves with writing assignments and the UK education system. They genuinely care about our well-being and often ask us how we are settling in. They encourage us not to hesitate in asking questions if we don’t understand something.

I am delighted and proud to be an international student on this Primary PGCE course. Teaching in a different education system has presented me with many challenges, but these challenges have helped me grow every day and become a better teacher, shaping the future generation.

Written by Samantha, current PGCE Primary student at The University of Manchester