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My path, my way: Lingning's story

18 Jun 2019 - Lingning Zeng

I’m Lingning from China, and I’m Assistant Manager of College Services at University of Brighton International College.

I’ve lived in Brighton for more than 15 years, and in that time it has become a very special place to me: it is where I have been following my path, my way.

Dreaming of the UK

In 2002, I came to England to study a master’s degree in Media Assisted Language Teaching at the University of Brighton. Before that, I was an English teacher in China, and I had decided that I wanted to develop myself professionally. I wanted to explore a new way of language learning: media and internet-based learning.

“I had always dreamed of speaking English in a real, English-speaking environment”

I studied English for my bachelor’s degree, and I had always dreamed of speaking English in a real, English-speaking environment. In fact, I loved it so much that before I graduated from university, I said to myself that whatever I do in the future, I must find a job where I could use my language skills.

Choosing the University of Brighton

Around the year 2000, many of my friends were going to study overseas, so I got very serious about the idea and started researching my options. I discovered that it only takes 1 year to complete a master’s degree in the UK, and I had already met some British friends who were teachers in China, and I was impressed by their professional skills and their humour.

My path, my way: Lingning's story

A friend of mine called Jane recommended the University of Brighton and the degree course that I was interested in; I listened to her stories about Brighton and was fascinated by what I heard. By the end of 2001, I had decided to study at the University of Brighton, and I got an unconditional offer in early 2002.

Arriving in Brighton

Thanks to my friends’ advice and stories, I didn’t have too much of a culture shock when I arrived in the UK, but I still had some difficulty understanding people if they spoke fast, especially in my lessons! I also found that the streets were pretty empty here — back in China, I was always surrounded by people!

I signed up for the international induction week, which was very useful. I quickly made new friends from all over the world and this helped me improve my listening and speaking.

The classes weren’t easy for me; I wanted to work extra hard but I didn’t know what to do because the teaching style was so different from what I was familiar with. Gradually, I understood that working with classmates, thinking differently and asking questions in class was very important if I wanted to be noticed and do well.

Lingning's path to success

Gained a bachelor's degree

in her home country

Studied a master's degree

at the University of Brighton

Found a job

at the University of Brighton International College

Worked hard

to become Assistant Manager of College Services

Helping Kaplan students

After I graduated, I stayed in Brighton and eventually applied for a Student Services role at the University of Brighton International College, and I’m so glad I got the job!

My path, my way: Lingning's story

My own experience of being an international student gives me a thorough understanding of what our students are going through. Living overseas helped me to improve my confidence when facing difficulties; I am now better at problem-solving and I’m much more resilient. I hope that I can help our students develop and grow in similar ways.

I’m very passionate about helping our students succeed and fulfil their potential, and I really do love coming to work every day!

This is my path so far.

If you’d like to find out how you can follow your path, your way, explore the links below.

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