Alexandrina Podosu receiving her award from Stratford-upon-Avon College Principal and CEO Andrew Cropley

The exceptional progress of an international student studying at Stratford-upon-Avon College has been recognised at an annual awards ceremony, and the resulting boost to her confidence has seen her inspired to fulfil her ambitions.

 Alexandrina Podosu, who lives in Stratford-upon-Avon, is originally from Romania and came to the UK with her three sons in July 2016 to join her husband who had been here since January. She was presented with the International and ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) Student of the Year award during the College Student Awards Ceremony which took place on Thursday 4 May, and the resulting boost to her confidence has seen her inspired to fulfil her ambitions.

Alexandrina had a strong grasp of written English before moving to the UK, using it as part of her job running an Accountancy firm. However, after relocating, she was initially frustrated at the problems she had communicating verbally. She commented “I used to communicate with my clients by email and letter in English so when I came to the UK I thought speaking to everyone would be no problem. But when I actually tried to speak English with someone it was so difficult and I got really frustrated with myself.”

Initially enrolling on the ESOL Entry Level 2 class last September, in a very short time Alexandrina progressed to the Entry 3 qualification and is currently preparing to sit her final writing exam.

She has a clear career path planned, with an aim to set up a new business as an accountant in the UK. Whilst studying on the ESOL course, Alexandrina also took an online qualification in accountancy computer programmes, passing the course with distinction.  Not content to stop here, she has now even enrolled on a Book Keeping course at the College.

Alexandrina’s ESOL teacher at the College, Anne Ward, is delighted that one of her hard-working students has been recognised at the Awards Ceremony. Anne explained “She has shown total commitment to her coursework, always does extra homework, and spends a lot of time on independent study. She has also inspired her children to study hard to fulfil their own ambitions, passing on to them the strategies and skills she’s learnt and encouraging them to read books and write reviews.

“I firmly believe that the foundation of Alexandrina’s success has been her extremely positive attitude to all aspects of life in the UK.”

Thanks to the success of her studies and her recent award, Alexandrina’s confidence has grown immensely. “It’s something huge for me – to come here to the UK, start a new course and now to receive this. When I received the letter telling me I was nominated I was so excited. And then when I was named as the winner I couldn’t believe it – I was thrilled!

“The support and teaching at the College is fantastic. Anne gave me confidence in myself and so much encouragement. She told me to try to have a conversation with someone in English every day. So I made sure I spoke to the other mums when waiting to pick my sons up from school. Now I have some English friends and I speak with them all the time.”

For more information on any of Stratford-upon-Avon College’s courses, please visit or call the College on 01789 266245.

About Association of Colleges West Midlands

AoC West Midlands promotes and supports the interests of 38 general further education, sixth form and specialist colleges throughout the West Midlands region. The West Midlands is a diverse region and our colleges reflect this diversity. From small specialist colleges in rural locations to large inner city establishments, colleges reflect the needs of their local environment. Working closely with employers, learners and the local community, our 38 member colleges offer a broad range of flexible learning opportunities for individuals at all levels. They aim to give local people the skills they need for success and prosperity, tackling barriers to learning and providing opportunities that meet the needs of individuals and employers
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