Xiaoyue (Crystal) Zhang, Aged 20

Studied Economics, Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Physics and Chinese A-Levels at Grantham College.

Why did you choose Grantham College?

I became immediately interested when I heard that Grantham was the hometown of Isaac Newton and Margaret Thatcher. It appealed to me to live in such a peaceful town while being an easy trip away from London. Browsing through the College website, I was also impressed by the friendly atmosphere and modern campus facilities that the College had to offer. However, what really struck me was the help I received from the College staff throughout my application process and it convinced me that Grantham College was a place where I would be looked after.

What did you enjoy most about the course?

I liked the breadth of the course – there was a wide range of subjects to choose from. In particular, I very much enjoyed studying Economics which was completely new to me and to this day I still believe, revolutionised my mentality.

What did you like least about the course?

It might be useful if more challenging content could be made available to the interested students.

How would you describe the college in 3 words?

Supportive, accessible, diverse.

Where did you go after Grantham College?

I stayed in the UK and went to the University of Oxford. I am currently a third year Mathematics student at Somerville College, incidentally, the college where Margaret Thatcher did her degree. While keeping pace with my studies, I am heavily involved with a number of university student societies, have completed several internships and have been utilising weekends and holidays to explore Europe. I am always grateful to Grantham College for commencing my journey in the UK, helping me settle in this country and preparing me for the adventure that followed.

Did you take part in any clubs or social activities whilst at Grantham College?

I was elected the International Student Officer. I became the Champion of U18 Girls at the UK National Go Challenge Championships. I was also a popular blogger writing about my life as a Chinese teenager studying in the UK.

What would you say about the staff at Grantham College?

They were beyond responsible, kind and helpful.

I arrived at the College three weeks late due to visa issues and was fairly left behind at all subjects, especially Physics. My Physics teacher specifically set aside some time to sit down and go through the materials with me. I have also had some excellent Mathematics teachers. They helped me through the difficulties that I encountered, enhanced my interests in Mathematics and laid a solid foundation for my degree. It was with the help of those wonderful teachers that I achieved As and A*s in all my A-Level subjects.

I also had a brilliant EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teacher who carefully marked all my English writings and helped me achieve a good IELTs score. I am equally grateful to Linda Wale and Bernadette Wray for overseeing my studies and life in general.

Would you recommend Grantham College to others, if so why?

Definitely. In fact I have!