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From Nervous to Confident: My Pre-sessional Journey at Cardiff University

17 May 2024
Photo by Compare Fibre on Unsplash
Photo by Compare Fibre on Unsplash

Before joining Cardiff University, the thought of not meeting the IELTS score requirements had me quite nervous. After three attempts, I finally hit the mark for the 10-week pre-sessional course, and it was absolutely worth it! This journey wasn’t just about improving my English; it turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve made. The gains were immense, both academically and personally. Now, let me share how this experience has transformed me and what I’ve learned along the way.

Academic Writing and Language Skills Enhancement

In the pre-sessional course at Cardiff Uni, I really leveled up my academic writing game. Learning how to navigate the Uni’s library search and using advanced search techniques to pinpoint exactly the right essays for my topics was a game changer. It wasn’t just about finding information, but also about structuring my essays effectively—from crafting a compelling introduction to developing a coherent main body and wrapping up with a strong conclusion. Mastering the Cardiff and Harvard referencing styles was another key skill that I picked up. These tools have been invaluable, not just for easing my academic journey in September, but for all my future studies.

Boosting Confidence: Overcoming My Fear of Public Speaking

In the pre-sessional course, presentations were a real hurdle for me. Despite always preparing thoroughly, the thought of speaking in front of many people sent my nerves into overdrive. But, step by step, I started overcoming this fear. My tutor played a huge role, constantly encouraging me and highlighting my progress, which really boosted my confidence. These experiences didn’t just help me survive those nerve-wracking seminars; they equipped me with public speaking skills that I know will be valuable in my future academic and professional life.

Guided by Expertise: The Impact of Teacher Support

During the pre-sessional course, our teachers were more than just instructors; they were our guides. They generously shared study resources on reading, listening, and speaking, always making sure we had access to the materials before classes began. But it didn’t stop there. Every Monday, I had a one-to-one tutorial, a golden opportunity to discuss any challenges I faced, academically or otherwise. My tutor’s feedback and solutions not only addressed my concerns but also ignited my passion for learning, making the whole experience incredibly enriching.

Building Valuable Friendships

Living in Talybont South, Cardiff Uni’s student accommodation, played a huge part in building friendships that supported both my studies and personal life. Just a 10-minute walk from the John Percival Building, where our pre-sessional classes were held, it was super convenient. What made it special was sharing an ensuite with classmates who were on the same journey. We were not just neighbors but became a tight-knit support network. With beautiful surroundings near the park and River Taff, it was the perfect setting for friendships to flourish. I truly cherish the memories and the bonds we formed there.

Career Readiness and Personal Growth in Journalism

The pre-sessional course at Cardiff University didn’t just teach me English; they boosted my confidence in communication, a crucial skill in international journalism. This newfound ease with interviews and interactions has been transformative. Now, I handle interviews with a confidence that feels second nature. This experience has not only prepared me for the practical demands of journalism but also fostered significant personal growth, making me a more adept and self-assured communicator.

Embracing Cardiff’s Culture and Cross-Cultural Exchange

And the pre-sessional language course at Cardiff University was my gateway to quickly adapting to life in Cardiff and engaging with its rich culture. More than just learning the language, it was the interactions with classmates from diverse cultural backgrounds that enriched my experience. These exchanges deepened my respect and understanding of different cultures, helping me navigate not only my studies but also everyday life in a new city. It’s fascinating how much you can learn from simply talking and sharing stories with others.