Feiran Ren

Feiran is a graduate from one of our undergraduate Education courses and is currently studying for her master’s in Educational Leadership while working part-time as an English and Mandarin tutor.

On choosing Manchester

Feiran Ren

I did my undergraduate study at The University of Manchester. After this, I really wanted to dig more into the education system in England so I decided to study for a postgraduate degree.

There are three main reasons why I chose to do an Education course at the University. First of all, obviously, The University of Manchester is one the most prestigious universities in the world and is also a Russell Group university.

The second reason is that the Manchester Institute of Education (MIE) is well-known for its high-quality teaching staff and distinguished researchers. The Ellen Wilkinson Building, which is the building for MIE, is named after a politician who served as Minister of Education and graduated from The University of Manchester. To study in the same School as Ellen Wilkinson is an extraordinary experience for me.

The third reason is that I love the city of Manchester. It is a really diverse city and people here are really nice. You also never get bored with the nightlife in Manchester. There are so many places you can go as a night out. Personally, I highly recommend 42nd Street.

As an international student, I feel like Manchester is my second home.

On how my course shaped my career ambitions

Firstly, I really had no idea what I wanted to do in the future. However, when I started my undergraduate degree at the University, with the help of my supervisors and academic advisors I found myself really interested in language teaching.

I did my undergraduate research on language and identity. This research provided me with a deeper understanding of how language can shape an individual’s identity. Although I was interested in language teaching at that time, I had no idea what I should do to pursue my career. However, this year when I started my master’s degree, I found a volunteer job at the Students’ Union which was teaching refugees English.

After several training sessions, I have gained some understanding of teaching English as a second language and I also have some experience of interacting with different groups in the classroom. I think it was at that time I decided to pursue my career as a language teacher.

On gaining the right experience

My undergraduate degree enabled me to gain a comprehensive view of how to promote efficient language education in a classroom. What I have mainly learned from my master's course is how the education system in England works and what the role of a headteacher is like. It makes me know thoroughly about how the schools in England operate and function. As a consequence, I am extremely attracted to being a teacher in schools here.

However, I still did not know how to find a job in a school in England. Therefore, I went to The University of Manchester Careers Service which was really useful. They gave me a clear career path that suits me. They suggested that I do a one-year teacher training programme in Secondary Mandarin so that I can find jobs with Qualified Teacher Status. Now, I have a clear goal in my life.

On advice for future students

Enjoy your time at the University and in Manchester. The University truly cares about every student and you will spend an amazing part of your life here.

Don’t forget to use the Careers Service. All of the teams are lovely and helpful.

Finally, don’t forget to lie on the grass in front of the Main Library when it is sunny!