Sara Al Dolaijan
Sara is an Aramco-sponsored Business Management (Logistics and Operations) student who started her Cardiff Journey studying our International Foundation Programme.
Student name: Sara Al Dolaijan
Course: BSc Business Management (Logistics and Operations)
Country: Saudi Arabia
Year of graduation: 2021
Why did you choose Cardiff University International Foundation Programme (IFP)?
I wanted to study Supply Chain Management in one of the best-ranked schools in the United Kingdom. Therefore, I chose Cardiff University, as it is one of the top 100 universities around the world. Also, my friends who were already studying the International Foundation Programme recommended it to me, as they got the opportunity to improve their English language since it was not their first language.
Tell us about the IFP. How did it prepare you for progression on to undergraduate study?
As an international student, it was hard to adjust to a new culture and the education system, hence, the foundation year helped me to settle in.
The International foundation programme gave me the opportunity to learn different skills that prepared me for my undergraduate degree course. The programme helped in enhancing my English writing, speaking, reading and listening skills. Thus, I learned how to write fluently in an academic manner. Furthermore, I learned how to reference correctly, which helped me a lot in writing assignments in my first year. Also, my presentation skills were improved, as we had to present different topics throughout the year and we received effective teacher feedback.
The programme also helped me in gaining confidence, strength of character, communication skills, independence and responsibility. Therefore, those characteristics that I gained have helped me in receiving the highest average in the International Business Foundation Program.
What have you enjoyed most about studying on the International Foundation Programme?
I mostly enjoyed studying with people from different countries such as Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, China, Kazakhstan and other countries. It gave me the opportunity to explore new cultures and enhance my knowledge.
I also enjoyed writing a personal development plan (PDP) in which I was able to recognise my strengths and weaknesses and get the opportunity to decide on how I will improve myself during and after the foundation program.
What is the best thing about living in Cardiff?
Cardiff is the capital of Wales, yet it is a quiet city and easy to get around. Living in Cardiff is comfortable, as shops, restaurants, supermarkets and residences are all close to each other. I rarely use the car for transportation and I usually cycle to places that are a little further from where I live, as bike rentals are available everywhere.
Are you a member of any clubs or societies? If so, what’s it like to be part of a society?
Unfortunately, in my foundation year I mainly focused on my studies and adjusting to the new chapter of my life. However, I did enjoy hanging out with my friends. I went Karting, rode bicycles, took horse riding classes, skated, explored the city by walking and participated in some water activities.
How has the university supported you during your time here?
The University supported me in different ways. Teachers were so helpful as they helped me by explaining anything I did not understand. Also, different resources were easily accessible as the textbooks were available online through the University websites.
What would your advice be for prospective students thinking about joining the IFP?
I would recommend every international student who is planning to study at Cardiff University to join the IFP programme. This programme will make their adjustment process easier. In addition, you will learn different skills that would help you in your undergraduate degree.
What are your plans for the future?
In my future, I will continue seeking information to enhance my knowledge. Hopefully, after working with Aramco, I am aiming to earn my master's degree and then start my own business.