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Kunpeng, from China, studied the Finance IFP from 2019-2020. Kunpeng chose to stay at Warwick and has just finished his second year as a BSc Accounting and Finance student at Warwick Business School.

Here he shares his journey to the IFP and beyond...

I undertook Warwick IFP, specifically Finance Pathway during the academic year of 2019-2020. I have now finished the first 2 years of my degree BSc Accounting and Finance at Warwick Business School and I am about to start my work placement year this September.

The main reason I chose the Warwick IFP is the reputation and the possibilities and flexibilities it provides. First of all, I did some research and found out that with the Warwick IFP, all students can apply to 5 different undergraduate programmes through UCAS and the grades students achieve in the IFP is widely recognised by the majority of UK universities. This was really appealing to me as I wasn’t absolutely certain at that stage which universities I wanted to do my degree in and the IFP provides endless possibilities. Although I did choose to stay at the University of Warwick because I had a really good experience during the IFP. Secondly, when I was comparing the different IFPs in the UK, I was quite happy with the fact that the Warwick IFP is an integral part of University of Warwick, rather than lots of other IFPS which are outsourced to a private education group. Also the reviews of the Warwick IFP during my research were predominantly positive, including from IFP alumnus.

I chose the Finance pathway because I was quite sure I wanted to pursue a degree related to Finance, Accounting and Economics, a Business degree, essentially. I liked the idea of being able to make a real world impact using figures and data and a business degree can help me with that.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time on the IFP, the teaching quality was excellent, the modules were well structured and the students on the IFP are generally diverse. I remember having regular personal tutor meetings which were really helpful as for most IFP students, doing the IFP is the first time they have come to the UK. The personal tutor meetings provided lots of guidance and support to many aspects of students’ lives. The modules were well delivered and the teaching staff were very helpful and keen to answer any questions. I particularly enjoyed the fact that for each module, there were various assessments scheduled throughout the year, smaller class tests in each term and final exams in the summer, which gives students opportunities to check their learning progress. Also for each assessment, there is normally a mock test as well, so there are lots of chances to check students’ progress and for them to receive feedback. Compared to undergraduate modules where there is normally just a 90% or 100% one-off exam, and there are fewer chances to receive feedback. So overall, the IFP provides a smooth transition for international students to get used to the university education system in the UK as well as other aspects of life here.

My favourite memory of the IFP would be the fun times I spent in Westwood café. Westwood café is normally where the meetings take place, where students have food and relax, so there is a lot going on. Every time I would go to this café, there was always someone from the IFP that I could talk to in a nice and relaxed environment. The Warwick IFP is also quite diverse, so I was able to talk to people from different cultures and gain an understanding of them. I had lots of fun conversations with other students and IFP staff there, that’s why I would say Westwood café is my favourite place.

While I didn't get involved in the societies and clubs available (due to Covid-19 emerging during my time on the IFP), as an IFP student, you are just as much a Warwick University student as any other undergraduates, which means you have access to all the facilities and the right to join all the societies, there’s a lot to explore. You also live with other undergraduates rather than with just Warwick IFP students in one place, which enhances the experience.

Now, I’m currently studying a BSc Accounting and Finance at Warwick Business School. I am about to start my work placement year this September. I have decided to take a year out in industry to apply my knowledge into a real company context. The IFP definitely prepared me well for my undergraduate degree both in terms of technical knowledge and transferrable skills. First of all, the various modules I took e.g., Economics, Maths and Stats, Law and Research skills, all laid a solid foundation of the knowledge that was needed for the first year of my degree. Therefore, I felt confident and prepared for my first year. Also, the IFP equipped me with increased independence and autonomy as a student. From my high school in China to the Warwick IFP, a higher level of independence in learning is required and even more so from the IFP to an undergraduate degree. The Warwick IFP allowed me a year to gain the autonomy I needed and better prepared me for my degree than if I went straight from high school to university.

Kunpeng standing on a bridge in front of a huge white building