So what is a foundation year? It is simply a preliminary year which prepares you to start your studies.
The majority of courses last for a year and are orientated towards the subject you have chosen for your degree. During this period, students improve their English language skills and familiarise themselves with academic topics.
The main aim of the foundation year is to make sure international students raise their English competency levels to the point where they can take part in lectures and debates, write good essays or carry out any tasks required by their course. It also acts as an introduction and preparation for the most demanding subjects, by emphasising their key elements.
The English education system is not identical to that in Poland. First of all, it expects students to think critically, rather than checking how much information you have learnt off by heart. You will be tested on your ability to reason and shape and defend essential positions and points of view. The foundation year will help students to familiarise themselves with this approach to both teaching and learning.
As well as preparing students for their chosen course, the foundation year allows students to decide whether they have chosen the right degree and university. During this period, students can visit many other universities, as well as spend time on campus with their friends and peers.
If you decide to do a foundation course, you are opening the door to higher education. Once you have finished the course, the university will provide you with a written reference and documents confirming that you successfully completed a foundation year. This is very useful when it comes to putting in university applications, and some British programs report that 99.7 per cent of their foundation year students are accepted by their first choice university.
English foundation year courses often offer international students accommodation in shared rooms. As well as spending your time getting ready for the next few years of studying, you will also get to know new cultures and traditions, and make new friends with whom you can enjoy your university life. Over this foundation year, you can learn how to be independent in your daily life and how to adapt to your new demands and surroundings. This is an excellent time for visiting other towns and regions and finding a circle of friends. Since you will not be studying full-time and feel the pressure this brings, you can gradually get acclimatised to your new home and life abroad – and have enough spare time to find work and support yourself, financially.