After my first graduation in Kharkov National University of Economics, I obtained a Master Degree in Management of Foreign Economics Activities. Luckily, soon after this I was able to receive a job-placement as a recruiter in one of the leading agencies in Kharkov region, and during this period I understood, that my skills definitely need to be improved. With the massive help of my step-father, George Allen Hill, we made a research in educational sphere around the world, focusing on Universities which are providing for their graduates the most practical postgraduate programmes and promising for students perspective future career opportunities.
Now I'm proud to represent myself as a student of Newcastle Business School, working for my second Master's degree in Business with Financial Management. Between my decision to continue my education in England and obtaining the unconditional offer from Northumbria University I underwent a year of research and hard work, so I'm glad to have an opportunity to share this experience with other people, who are now thinking about following my steps in receiving a European education.
The very first moment, which you need to check after your decision is made, is your current level of English language. Minimum standard for foreign English University is between 6.5 and 7.0 points in IELTS testing system. Analogue of it will be 80 and 90 in TOEFL. IELTS (International English Language Testing System) and TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) are the most well-known language tests in the world, and it is generally possible to find at least one of their centers somewhere in urban areas. Also it is easy to get an access to some useful online-tests on their main sites - that will help you to understand your level of English in the very beginning. If you have a needful level around upper-intermediate, you are ready to do a second step, but if not - don't wait too long before start to improve it.
Every day in educational process, with every learning task, during each lecture and seminar in University you would need a good level of English language. Ability to understand very specific terms and quite fast speed of presented information is strongly vital for successful study. Don't put yourself in risk to misunderstand others and of any misunderstanding by them - that could cause you a lot of difficulties which could be effectively avoided by advanced preparations in the language field.
If you are a very self-confident person and hard learner, books like "Headway" and "Cambridge Preparations for the TOEFL test"are made for you. Personally, I used both of them and could recommend this literature as helpful and easy in exploitation. But you need to be aware, that despite of your reading, listening and writing skills, you would still need a lot of practice in speaking - and that could be a major problem for a future university applicant. The extreme advantage for me was a possibility to go through these books with George. His teaching methods are perfectly concentrated around giving high-level understanding of English language, and an opportunity to pick up from him royal English, "Queen" accent was a great benefit for my education. For the foreign student an ability to speak with perfect pronunciation is one of the key-stones which would make your life and study process in Europe much easier.
Second question which you may face straight after the start of your application process would be an essay. European system of education is significantly different from post-soviet systems and mainly based on writing assignments. For these texts they have strong requirements in how to do research, organize, structure and present information. Mainly, your work in University and your marks would be concentrated around these essays, so an ability to provide through them your knowledge is your key to success. With George I was writing around five essays per week, and then we were spending a long time analyzing my work and searching the ways to develop my writing skills with accordance for university requirements. I can say that I always received a high marks at school and University for essays, so in the beginning of this preparation stage I felt myself very miserable, realizing that almost all my previous experience is useless for European Universities programmes. There was a time when I thought I would never master this skill , but George's patient, severity and persistence were leading me through this problems to the bright light of success, step by step. My first essay in University has been assessed at 70%, compare to all of the rest in my group who received in average of about 60%, and that was amazing result not only for foreign students but even for native-speakers!
Third and last important point to be mentioned here is a process of choosing your University in United Kingdom. You have to be aware that England postgraduate programmes are mainly structured to give a student a narrowing practical knowledge after undergraduate programmes (similar to bachelor degree), which are quite general. My parents and I spent an innumerable amount of time looking through educational suggestions in United Kingdom, in writing e-mails to their staff and telephone conversations. With a lot of variants, you should be very careful in taking a last decision. Carefully read though the web-sites, look for career opportunities, try to search for employment ratings for graduates of each University you are interested in. Remember - your choice in this stage could influence on all your life and future career. Try to avoid mistakes.
I have now finished my university programme in Newcastle, and already realized how important this education is on my future life and career. This experience gave me an opportunity to not only obtain a practical, up-to-date knowledge in finance and management fields, but also a possibility to rebuild myself from a student to a growing professional. With all my heart I'm grateful for this to my parents - George Allen Hill and Svitlana Hill, who made this significant future chance for me to become a present reality.