Study Finance and Management abroad - study Finance in the UK

My Cranfield experience

My Cranfield journey has been one of the most enriching and valuable experiences I have lived so far. Something that one day seemed unreachable and beyond my expectations, became true.

Everything started with the idea of becoming a more prepared professional, throughout the tools, resources and experience that a master’s degree offers, specially in another country, that allowed me to make an impact in my community and be a positive influence for others.

During my research, at the beginning of the process, I realized that UK was among the countries with better rankings for financial masters, offering a wide variety of programmes and resources that fitted with what I was looking for to continue my personal and professional development.

I have to admit, that the process was not easy at all, but what I can assure, is that it totally worth it. During each of the steps that I was required to complete, and for all the information and queries that arise throughout the whole process, scholarships, documents, interviews, etc. Across the Pond offered me their support, which made everything much easier, compared with what would have been without their aid.

Once I arrived to UK, a whole new world was disclosed for me, discovering new customs, cultures, lifestyle, food, weather, etc. Furthermore, >80% of my classmates were from other parts of the world, outside UK, which made the master more insightful, since it helps you to develop a broader vision, mindsets and learning to work with multicultural teams.

There are countless of memories that I most remember and appreciate, including all the friendships, trips, hangouts, social activities both inside and outside the University, football games, professors, classes, teamwork projects, exams, seminars, thesis, etc. It was like living again old times in a very short period of time, trying to take the fullest advantage of each day.

Something that I found really interesting during that time, was having a closer understanding of the different cultures around the world. Some actions that for one person can be natural and part of their daily life, for other cultures might not be interpreted the same. Among all the activities the University organize, I remember one called “the international week”, where different students from their respective countries coordinate for showing others some of their most traditional dishes, customs, clothes, and anything else that represents them. In my case, we prepared some “tacos of cochinita pibil” (or at least we made our greatest effort for that), being a wonderful experience not only showing others part of your own culture, but also learning from others part of them, beyond of what we can learn from any books or videos.

Finally, what I learnt during that time, was that a master’s degree is not the end of the road, there’s a whole world outside, always something new to learn, and that anything that challenge your comfort zone, will always worth the effort.

- Miguel

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I studied Engineering at Shanghai University in China, I finished my bachelor’s degree in 2013, after that I went into marketing at a Chinese airline. I went to Kaplan in London to do my pre-master’s course before I started my master's in Investment Management at Cranfield. The pre-master’s course really prepared me for this master’s degree. Some of the modules, like statistics and mathematics really helped me a lot. I chose Cranfield and Kaplan at the same time. Cranfield is a really good university and I wanted to live in London for a short time, I wanted to feel the culture of a big city. So the combination – seven to eight months in London and one year in Cranfield - is really attractive.

When I finished my bachelor's degree, I didn’t know what I was interested in, but with two and half years work experience I realised that I’m interested in finance and I want to get a master’s degree in that. With my education background, it was difficult to get on to a master’s degree because I didn’t have anything related to finance and my English was really bad, so Kaplan gave me an opportunity and helped me improve a lot, mostly in academic skills. After two terms I thought, yes I’m really prepared now, and it’s not that difficult for me here at Cranfield.

My first impression of Cranfield compared to London was that I thought I’d come to a different country. It’s completely different from London. But after one or two weeks here I really feel peaceful and I can really concentrate on the course. In London of course there are a lot of good places to go and I can have a really good time with my friends. But here I can really focus on my master’s.


My time here in the UK has been fantastic; there are a lot of opportunities here compared to in China. I've managed to see a little bit of the UK while I've been here. My friends and I rented a car and drove from London to Scotland and the Isle of Skye for six days. One day we started in Edinburgh at 7am and we went to the Isle of Skye, the Highlands and ended in Glasgow at midnight. We realised we should have stayed one night in the Highlands – but we looked on Google maps and it said you could finish this journey in nine hours. I drove thirteen hours that day, it was a bit dangerous. But it was really beautiful, all the lakes. It’s a different beauty than in China, there are less people – it’s like a picture you could see on your calendar, really, really beautiful.

Also I went skydiving in Bunbury – about one hour from London Marylebone by train. I took a six hour course with two instructors and I learned to freefall for 15-20 seconds and opened my parachute at 6,000 feet. We took a plane and we flew above the clouds and I thought this is really exciting, this will be a great story. But after I opened my parachute I realised I couldn’t see my landing field. And there is a radio, but I couldn’t hear them properly – my instructor was trying to tell me to turn left, but all I could hear was “Taoyi, turn …” and it cut out. I was surprised how fast it was, in the movies it doesn’t seem so fast. The first time I landed ok, but the second and third time I landed on my bum! For a qualification I’d have to do it 18 times, but it’s really expensive £2-300 each time, so I don’t think I’ll get my certificate.


I live in couple’s accommodation – I met my girlfriend at Kaplan, she was doing a foundation year there and she went to Birmingham University to study Economics, and at the weekend she comes to visit me or I go to see her.

Going for a PhD

I want to stay in the UK. I’d like to get a PhD and become a lecturer here. I’m hoping to do my PhD in Corporate Finance. I would like to stay in the academic environment, it is quite simple, I think there are more barriers in industry. I’d like to enjoy the balance.

Do you have any advice for students considering postgraduate study?

We approach knowledge in different ways here compared to China. Not only politics and other daily life, I think here, people are more focused on living. They have a better balance between work and life. In China maybe there are too many people and the level of competition is quite harsh. Like me, I tended to focus on work– I didn’t care about my salary or how much overtime I was doing, as long as I had my job I thought I’m OK. Here, people feel satisfied. Of course there are some problems here, like Brexit for example. But there’s a better work-life balance.

- Taoyi


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