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The University of Southampton
Economic, Social and Political SciencesUndergraduate study

Yilun Yan (Ellen) BSc Economics and Actuarial Science2011

Yilun Yan (Ellen)'s Photo

Hi, I'm Yilun Yan (Ellen) and I studied BSc Economics and Actuarial Science within Social Sciences: Economics at the University of Southampton.

I appreciate the fact that, in many modules, we have the chance to practise our transferable skills.

Q: Why did you choose the University of Southampton?

I was passionate of studying something related to both Economics and Mathematics, especially something challenging like Actuarial Science. Southampton is the only university with an Economics and Actuarial Science degree, and it had the highest academic requirements of all the offers made to me. I was also impressed by certain details. The University sent me the most relevant materials – brochures, letters, a postcard and a DVD (which I showed to my family). Furthermore, my uncle used to be a Researcher at the University of Southampton and he spoke highly of it. Southampton was undoubtedly my first choice.

I was aware that Economics at Southampton was in the top 10, so I randomly searched its Economics-related courses and was impressed when I found Economics and Actuarial Science. This degree was the perfect choice as it is both academically challenging and practical.

We have about 10 hours of lectures and classes, which means it's flexible to learn independently. However, there are quite a few recommended materials for reading, so time-management is still important. I appreciate the fact that, in many modules, we have the chance to practise our transferable skills, such as teamwork and presentation. Writing essays and doing projects might sound painful at the beginning but they are actually very beneficial for developing creativity, critical thinking and research capacity. As an international student, I'm now much more comfortable reading and writing English than two years ago when I first came to the UK.

Q: How did you find being an international student at Southampton?

The Students' Union is also good at enriching students' leisure life and ensuring they benefit. There are lots of great societies. I'm currently in AIESEC (an international NGO aiming to develop students' leadership via exchange), Jazzmanix (the largest choir in Southampton, singing gospel and jazz), the Rotaract Club (group community work) and the Paintball Club. I also do community volunteering when I have spare time, doing things such as mentoring children, music and art sessions in care homes and translating articles into Chinese.

Without my society life, I couldn’t have adapted to life abroad so quickly. The Student Services Centre also helps, especially with financial problems, visa issues or complaints about things such as accommodation.

Q: What are your plans following graduation?

My ambition is to be an Actuary; logically and scientifically forecasting the future by knowing the past. I love A challenge, so I won't give up even if Actuarial Science is hard. I'll try to find a graduate job but I will also apply for postgraduate degrees which are related to actuarial science. If possible, I'm keen to work abroad and maybe have my third or fourth 'hometown'. For me, opening up the vision is extremely important.

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