Written by: Ibrahem Helal, a student at Languages International

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Ibrahem Helal, I am from Saudi Arabia, 19 years old. I just graduated from the high school in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. I came to New Zealand as a scholarship student. I am pleased I took The English for University course (EU) for many reasons.

Firstly, the EU course improves my English more than what I was expecting. Secondly, the EU course gave me a new experience about the university education system. Thirdly the EU course certificate will allow me to enter the university without taking the IELTS exam.

My own experience of the course
The English for university (EU) course requires a good amount of work in order to pass it, as there are 6 assignments which should be given in a limited time, all the 6 essays should be passed otherwise I will fail the course. There is one power point presentation from 4 to 5 minutes. Also, there are two exams during the course. Therefore, I should organise my time very well starting with the class attendance should be more than 90%. I usually go to the Learning Centre from 8 to 10 hours per week. Everyday I have from 1 to 2 hours at home for doing my homework and looking at what we have studied in the class.

The EU course was very different from the General English course because of the amount of work we do in the class and in the self study time. The EU course is focussed on Academic English it is useful for people who are planning to study at university.

Some advice for future (EU) students
To improve your reading and vocabulary skills my recommendation is to read a news magazine or magazines which use academic language such as Time magazine, National Geographic magazine, and the New Scientist magazine. You can find those magazines online.

To improve your listening skills you can use the CDs in the Learning Centre (L.C.), also you can improve your listening skills in more entertaining ways such as watching a movies or listening to music in English.

To get good marks in your essay you should follow these steps. Firstly, when you get the topic of your essay brain storm your ideas and take notes. Secondly, do some research on the internet by the topic name or anything relative to the topic, try to understand what you are reading and take some notes. Thirdly, put your notes together and start to write your essay in a simple way. Finally, try to rewrite it in more academic way buy changing some vocabulary and sentences, and put your essay in the right format.

Some advice for future Saudi students
If your mother language is Arabic, especially if you are Saudi, you should focus on spelling and reading because I think it is Saudi students’ biggest problem. For the spelling you should have a vocabulary and spelling note book to write all the new vocabulary and practise the spelling, you must learn at least 10 new words per a week. For the reading, you should read as much as you can and try the three types of reading: skimming, scanning, and reading for details. It will help you very much if you are planning to do the IELTS exam, and those ways are very useful at university.

Another problem the Saudi students have is time management. I think if you follow the time table that I have mention above you will not face this problem.

Finally, I wish all the future students good luck, and a successful experience with the EU course.