Xinshuang Li

INTO Business Foundation, BSc Economics and Finance

When Xinshuang arrived in Exeter from China, she spent seven months on the INTO programme before starting her undergraduate course.

“I had always wanted to go abroad and change my environment, so after I graduated from high school in China, I began looking around at universities overseas. As Exeter is ranked as one of the top ten universities in the UK, and has high student satisfaction rates, it seemed like a good place for me to improve my English and to learn more about economics and finance, which is the area I would like to pursue as a career.

Before beginning my undergraduate programme, I enrolled on the INTO Business Foundation programme, which is a programme that Exeter offers for international students. It covered the basic maths and economics I would need when I started my degree course, as well as offering English classes, where we could focus on our speaking, reading, writing and listening skills.

I found INTO really helpful in helping me adapt to a different learning environment. There is much more of a focus on independent study here, compared to in China, so it was very useful to learn more about that and to develop some learning skills I would need when it came to sitting my exams as part of my degree.

I am now in the third and final year of my BSc in Economics and Finance and I am enjoying learning more about economic models and gaining knowledge of real-world financial markets. My lecturers are very good at bringing the theory to life with case studies, and they are always available to answer any questions and talk anything through with us.

I like many things about the Business School – the facilities, the beautiful environment, the excellent career support. But I think the best thing is the international nature of the School. Here I can meet students from all over the world. It is an exciting experience for me to make international friends and learn from my peers.

I would also like to emphasise the support that’s available to us as international students. You can feel somewhat daunted when you first arrive, but all the staff have been so helpful with any issues I have had, whether it was helping me arrange a visa for my mum when she came to visit, or assisting me with practical issues like booking taxis and train tickets.

Now that I’m more settled here, I wanted to do something to help other international students with their transition into the University. So I applied to become an International Student Ambassador, to help support students when they first arrive. I’m also part of a society called Global Chum, which is set up to help international students make friends. There’s a lot on offer here for international students, and plenty of support to help you settle in quickly and feel at home.”