Study Abroad without IELTS? Pre-sessional English 5-week Course at the University of Surrey

A happy new year to everyone. I hope you will be blessed in 2024.

As I took part in a pre-sessional English course for 5 weeks (PS5) right before my master’s study in the summer of 2023, I would like to share these contents below in regard to my experience there.

List of contents

  • Why I decided to take PS5
  • What we learned
  • Atmosphere of the class
  • Benefits of taking the course
A Picture from a Brighton Trip Presented by Pre-sessional English Course

Why I Decided to Take PS5

Pre-sessional English course is a program that the University of Surrey offers and students who have lower scores than a specific language requirement for a course can take and start studying for the degree after the completion and final examinations of the course.

However, I have met the language requirement for my course, yet I joined the language course. It was all to ease my concerns about studying in a postgraduate program abroad, for example, that I had never studied abroad, that I had never lived outside of Japan alone, and that my IELTS score was not so far from the language requirement. And I am glad that I chose to take the course before my actual studies at the University of Surrey.

What We Learned

The classes mainly focused on reading, listening, writing and speaking. The most beneficial class, in my opinion, was writing because that helped me learn the methodology and rules of academic writing in the UK, which I was not familiar with. And, without having taken the PS5, I believe my first few months would have been more difficult than what I experienced. As said above, PS5 helped me prepare for my actual academic studies a lot.

Atmosphere of the Class

First, there were about 15 students in the course for 5 weeks. For the other longer pre-sessional English course, there were more students, so the course I joined was a smaller class compared to those courses. There were students from China, Turkey, Afghanistan, and Japan, so it was a great opportunity to build relationships with classmates from different parts of the world.

Second, classes of PS5 were held every weekday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:40 p.m. with lunch break except for Wednesday having no class after 13:00. 

Third, there were both students who had met their language requirement and ones who had not yet. Therefore, many students studied hard as some people have to get a specific score to be accepted into the university and as there was a positive serious atmosphere there.

Benefits of Taking the Course

Taking the pre-sessional English course for 5 weeks definitely helped me be ready for my main studies from several perspectives. I had a good practice of not only my English and academic skills but also my survival skills in a different country and culture from Japan. Also, I have made friends whom I still talk to and hug when we meet at school as we had experienced our beginning of life in the UK together.