Laurie Taylor Column

November 8, 2002

International students will be invited to write "a letter home" from their UK university in a new British Council competition - THES, November 1 .

Dear Mother

I am writing to you in English so that I can try to make it better. It is very difficult to be better because the course for English for Foreign Students is too full for me. I did not know that I would take this course because at my interview Professor Lapping said that my English is all right.

He said that there were many foreign graduate students in his department who could not "put two words together" but that they had all "got by in the end". Now my tutor is saying that he is not able to be reading my essay and I must quickly study English but the course as I was saying is full.

I am not yet meeting my "special foreign student supervisor" who is Doctor Piercemuller because he is overseas finding more foreign students for next year. Professor Lapping said I should not try to email him about my several worries because without the money from even more foreign students the department would be "up the creek".

There was a party for foreign students in the vice-chancellor's mansion last Tuesday. I did not like it very much because there was only wine to drink and no non-alcohol. The vice-chancellor was not himself there because of a Priory engagement.

I have visited the town of Poppleton. In the prospectus it said it was "a jewel of the English regions" and a "thriving cultural centre". But I did not see any jewels or much thriving and a man on the bus said loudly when I got on that asylum seekers should go home.

I will write soon again, Your loving son.

P.S. Yesterday it was "foreign student day" in the dining hall so we all had curry for dinner.

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