Student Profile: Feng Xi from Shanghai
7 February 2012

Feng Xi, known to her friends in the UK as Ayumi, is 18 years old and comes from Shanghai in China. She is studying for her A Levels and improving her general English at English UK member centre, London International Study Centre based in Surrey.

What made you choose to study in the UK?

"It's quite a complicated story.

"I did not finish my secondary school in China, I started my third year in Japan and did four years of high school there. My mum works there in a restaurant.

"I didn't speak Japanese but my mum hired a teacher for me and I learned very quickly.

"Then came the earthquake and tsunami disaster in Japan. My house was near to the nuclear plant. My relatives and my father in China were really concerned about radiation so I moved back to China to continue my education.

"In China, they said because I hadn't finished secondary school in China I wouldn't be able to go to university there and that's why I moved abroad.

"England was my dream. I really wanted to come to the UK since I was a child. It is a country with a very different culture to Chinese and Eastern culture and I was fascinated. I wanted to come here to continue my education."

So what did you do next?

"I wanted to improve my English and sit A Levels to help me get into a high-reputation university in the UK. I had to finish the A Levels in a year so that I could go to university with all my friends -- I wanted to keep up with them."

Which subjects are you studying?

"I am doing maths, further maths, economics and chemistry at A Level as well as improving my English. I want to be an actuary."

Are you enjoying your time in London?

"Yes, I love the London International Study Centre very much. Our teachers are very concerned about the students and it's like a family. I like London very much. This area is very nice and quiet."

Has anything surprised you during your stay?

"Yes, the bus fares are very expensive. In China you can travel wherever you want for 20 pence."

What do you hope to do next?

"I want to go to university in the UK in September and study actuarial science. I want to do that here because it will provide a very practical education and it is good to get a qualification from the UK."

Would you recommend studying in the UK to your friends?

"Yes, I would. It's a nice place and people here are very kind to international students."

Interview by Susan Young (

If you are interested in reading about other students' experiences of studying English in the UK, please click here to visit the student profile pages on the English UK website.


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