NEC is based in the beautiful city of Cambridge, a world-renowned hub of education and learning. Our location within the UK means that many of the students enrolling with us are British residents, but we also have a number of international students for whom our flexible distance learning courses provide a method to access education that might otherwise be unavailable.
In this week’s blog we are shining the spotlight on one of our students, James Barker, who enrolled with us all the way from the far east. James chose to study IGCSE Combined Science, and was kind enough to write back to us to share his experiences; this is his story, in his own words.
“The last time I studied science was at school over twenty years ago. I’m now 38 years of age. I wasn’t particularly keen on the subject when I was at school, preferring other subjects.
However, my interest in science was recently rekindled when I started my scuba-diver instructor course which requires knowledge of physics and biology. It was then that I realised that science wasn’t beyond my comprehension and could help me better understand the world around me.
As I live and work abroad it was impossible for me to pursue a course at a school or university so I chose so study by distance learning, but the question on my lips was who should I enrol with and who would accept me considering that I live and work in the Republic of Korea? I enquired at the Department of Education in the UK and they recommended the NEC and needless to say it was music to my ears to learn that they could take me on.
However, I did hesitate before enrolling. This is because I work full-time as an English teacher and time-management was my biggest concern. I kept asking myself if I would be able to fit in all of the study hours into my already busy schedule. I also wondered if I would have the stamina to see it through to the end.
But considering that when you enrol you have 18 months to complete the course and an extension of six months if need be, this gave me the flexibility I needed to convince me to enrol and I’m very happy that I did.
As was hoped, my understanding of physics, chemistry and biology has deepened and I found the course so interesting that I’m now seriously considering studying these subjects at A-level.
For those who are considering studying through distance learning I think it's important to have good time-management skills, and the self-discipline and self-motivation to stick to your study schedule in order to succeed. If you have these skills and qualities then studying through distance learning will be very rewarding for you.
I’d highly recommend studying with the NEC because of the excellent materials both on paper and online you receive, which are all clearly presented and well-organised to ensure step-by-step progression.
What's more, the one-on-one tuition means that every single query you may have about any aspect of the course is answered for you, helping you reach all the required learning objectives. This happened to me on several occasions but my first-rate tutor who was quickly responsive never failed to help me get around whatever learning stumbling block that got in my way.
On top of that, as a student at the NEC you can get access to past exam papers to help you practice for the exams which can also be marked by your tutor. Finally, student support is readily available to answer any questions you may have regarding exams like finding an exam centre, prolonging your period of study etc. which I found very helpful.”
If you have been inspired by James’ story to learn something new with us, you can take a look at the full range of courses we offer by visiting our website. You can also get in touch with our course advice team, who will be happy to answer any questions and help you choose a subject.
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