Ismail El Yacoubi

Morocco, International Foundation followed by BEng Mechanical Engineering

“I had a really good help, especially from the International Student Advice Team when I had some problems with my visa. It was delayed and I was about to miss the enrolment deadline, but the International Student Advice Team helped me a lot by contacting the Home Office until I got my visa and I arrived here.”

Why did you decide to study in the UK?

In Morocco we study higher education in French and high school is in French, so usually students go to France after their studies if they want to go abroad. However, because I had a good level of English I thought why don’t I break this rule? As the United States is so far and the tuition fees are more expensive than here, and because I visited the United Kingdom before and liked it, I decided to move here after high school.

Why did you choose Oxford Brookes?

I came for a visit to the university last year and really liked it. I liked the architecture and the university ranking and these factors made me to choose Oxford Brookes. I didn’t apply for anywhere else.

What made you choose to study this course at Oxford Brookes?

I did some research and emailed the admissions office, telling them my qualifications, and asking them what I needed to do to get in.  They told me that I could not go directly into the degree. I had to go through their foundation year, so there I started and that was the first time I heard about the course. After that I did deeper research into the foundation and found out it was a year that prepared you to embark on the degree. And to be honest in the beginning I didn’t like it. I thought I would waste a year doing it, but now I realise that it was really helpful, because even though I assumed that I would have been fine going directly into the BEng, there were still so many things that I didn’t know about.

Do you have any tips for future international students coming to Brookes?

Contact the programme leader of the subject you’re studying. That’s what I did and it was really helpful allowing you to get an idea about what you’re going to be doing when you arrive.  I would also recommend that you go online and contact people who are already here, so you can get their opinion about life here.

How do the teaching techniques here differ from what you’re used to?

It is not similar at all. The system here is completely different. I do believe it’s better here, as you’ve got lectures followed by seminars, which is really good, allowing you to apply your theoretical knowledge on something that is real, that is practical.  With the university here too you can have access to many facilities such as computers, which is a really good thing so you can prepare for your assignments, your revision and for your exams.