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Work and study abroad: A British university interview

Come prepararsi al colloquio per entrare in un’università britannica? Tommy Worden, giovane italo-britannico, l’ha appena fatto, lui ha scelto la facoltà di Storia, e in questa video-intervista ci racconta il giorno dell’interview... (L’intervista completa la trovate, in edicola sullo Speciale di Speak Up “Let’s Go Abroad”) - LANGUAGE LEVEL C1 (ADVANCED) By Mark Worden

Tommy Worden (Standard British accent)

Well, today I went to... to do an interview at Queen Mary, which is a university in East London, and is part of the University of London group, and what... and it’s in the East End of London, as I said, near Mile End. I don’t know, it was a very enjoyable day, I went to... well, first of all, I got... I had to get there around 1, 1.30, to register, but the day didn’t actually start until 2, where I received a talk from... from actually a professor there who explained to me basically why I’d choose Queen Mary, and talked about the location, the employability of... of people who go to Queen Mary, yeah, and just generally how... how it was viewed, how today would work... what the interview would entail, and just talked me through the facilities there, and obviously the... the course outline... of the course... of the three years, explained that you can either take an Erasmus, and... and turn it into a four-year course, as opposed to a three-year course, or just go abroad for one term and still keep the three-year course status. And then after that, right after that, an undergraduate gave us a tour of... of the campus, and so I went to see all the accommodation, and I was surprised actually that you were... how good your accommodation is depended on how much you paid! But, then again, I... I understand, and, yeah, he basically took me to see the Faculty of History, the library, all the acccommodations, a bit of the park, the gym, student societies, the student bar, everything, and that was really good. And then after that I had about a five-minute break before my interview. And, yeah, the interviewer doesn’t necessarily reflect which period of history you want to study, but it... it’s fine because he just... today was a pretty laid-back day, he was relaxed in his questions, there weren’t any ones like Oxbridge do, for example, during interviews where they try to catch you out, and basically if you... if you don’t think in the right way, or you’re not good enough, or you’re not 100 per cent devoted to history, they will reject you, whereas today was more an informal chat. So he asked me the basic questions: Why history? Why Queen Mary? And he talked a bit about my extended essay, which I did through my IB. And all in all it lasted about half an hour: I talked about 15, 20 minutes answering his questions and the other 10 was me asking him questions about Queen Mary, just to clear up certain things that weren’t clear, but most of the information was online, to be fair, and in the various leaflets and brochures I received from them, so, but no, all in all, it was a positive experience.

(Tommy Worden was talking to Mark Worden)

The interview continues in Let’s Go Abroad, the special issue of Speak Up which is on sale at newsstands (click here).


Undergraduate. Studente universitario. Il verbo to graduate significa laurearsi, mentre come sostantivo vuol dire laureato (vi ricordate il film di Dustin Hoffman?). An undergraduate è uno studente che non si è ancora laureato, mentre a postgraduate è uno studente che sta facendo un corso post-laurea. Si usano queste parole anche come aggettivi: ad esempio postgraduate degree (una laurea di specializzazione, tipo master’s oppure Ph.D).

Oxbridge. Oxford e Cambridge. C’è anche la frase Oxbridge Mafia: i laureati di Oxbridge che dominano i media, the City, la politica ecc.

Extended essay, IB
. IB sta per International Baccalaureate: è un nuovo esame di maturità che, in certe scuole, ha preso il posto degli A levels. Per l’IB bisogna scrivere an extended essay (letteralmente “un saggio esteso”), una specie di mini-tesi.