David's success story: from a Chinese public school to Imperial College London


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David, now studying at Eastbourne College, has already received a conditional offer from Imperial College London, a top public research-oriented university with a high reputation for teaching and innovation.

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How did you adapt to a different language and education environment after transferring from a Chinese public school to a British private school?

When I was studying in China, my family and I realised that the domestic education system didn't suit me, so I went to study in the UK in 2016 with the help of BE Education. Here in the UK, we have less monitoring from teachers, and fewer intensive compulsory courses and assignments. When preparing for exams, instead of doing hundreds or thousands of exam questions, we are instead encouraged to engage in self-guided research and revision.


Therefore, self-discipline and good organisational ability are necessary if one decides to study in the UK.

Tell us more about Eastbourne College

Our school is both traditional and modern. Each week we go to church and listen to talks about the Bible. However, the theme each week is not just related to religion but also linked to current affairs and social issues. The purpose of these talks is to guide us to think more and to reflect upon our lives. Moreover, the school also encourages us to have a diversified set of life goals and motivates us to pursue our dreams and passions.

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What was the biggest surprise after entering a British private school?

Actually, it's very similar to what I imagined it to be. Perhaps the most surprising part was the extra-curricular activities, especially the sports. For example, the school offers equestrian courses which are very rare in China. Of course, there are common activities as well. On the weekend, I like playing basketball with my schoolmates to relax. And I have also kept up my hobby of playing the piano in the UK.

Is it complicated to apply to British universities?

After determining my goal, I started the application process together with BE Education. BE assigned a mentor for me and guided me in writing the personal statement. They also provided guidance for course selections at university. The entire process was incredibly smooth. We submitted the application in October and received the offer from Imperial College London in December.

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For many, writing a personal statement is a headache. How did you nail it?

A personal statement (PS) has to be less than 4000 characters. Otherwise, you won't be able to submit it through the system. In the PS, you have to write about your own experiences with passion and sincerity. And the PS must also demonstrate your motivation and passion for your chosen discipline, the efforts you have made to pursue this passion, and also your achievements so far. The purpose is to allow interviewers to see your enthusiasm and ability clearly and make them believe that you will succeed in this field in the future.

Anything else you want to share about applying to high schools and universities in the UK?

During the interview, the interviewer will ask difficult questions that either require a specific answer or for you to express your opinion. I encountered both types of questions. Sometimes I would forget the specific knowledge or formulae that I needed to answer the questions. When this happened, I would think for a while and not give an answer right away. I mistakenly thought that it was not a good idea to ask the interviewer any questions directly. However, after guidance from BE Education, I now know that it's okay to ask. After all, the interviewer doesn't just want to see if you can answer a question correctly. Rather, they want to know your way of thinking, such as your logical ability or the steps you take to solve a problem. In addition, when expressing your opinions, if you feel that there is not much to say, you can try to guide the topic and lead the conversation. Getting the interviewer to participate in the discussion can also make the interview more interactive.

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