Concordia International University Student Receives Distinction in UK

The University of Essex is one of the world’s leading universities in the oldest recorded town in the UK – Colchester, South Essex, located on three campuses: Colchester, Southend, and Loughton. The university has won various awards, such as Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) 2017 with Gold, and it has ranked top 5 universities for social science and number one for political science. Furthermore, the University of Essex is a highly diverse university that offers 100+ student societies to more than 16,000 students of 140 nationalities.

The author interviewed Reika Kinoshita to find out about the key to her success. She has been enrolled in the joint program of Cloud Nine College (CNC) and Concordia International University (CIU) since August 2020. Her continuous efforts and hard work have made her successfully progress to a top-up program at the University of Essex. She recently received an Honor of Distinction in her first semester at the University of Essex.

To start, could you introduce yourself?

My name is Reika. I am currently enrolled at Concordia International University and the University of Essex, majoring in Business Management. I am taking Essex’s top-up program online while staying in Vancouver, Canada.

Congratulations on receiving a distinction! How much effort did you put into your study to get receive such a recognition?

Thank you. I have worked on the assignments the same way I submitted them on the online Concordia Platform. Nevertheless, also, I paid attention to being conscious of consistency in the contents of the agenda and tried not to go off the topic.

Was there any language barrier? If so, how did you overcome it?

I tried to mimic how the local people spoke with their expressions and read the local English newspapers and books. Also, I have been actively trying to start a conversation with people at my part-time job.

What is the content of the assignments at the University of Essex?

Assignments include writing a case study report about different companies and the pros and cons of globalization. We also have a group discussion with fellow students. 

How often do you need to work on assignments?

It depends on the unit you are on, and sometimes there is a short essay with 300 words almost every other day. However, it is not too overwhelming if you follow the topic in each module.

What does your everyday routine look like?

I have my morning routine before the classes start. Then, I head out to a café to work on the assignments for Essex for about 3 hours. Then, I go to a part-time job and get home at midnight in the afternoon. On my rest day, I meet with my classmates to work on the assignments or focus on job hunting (Interviews and workshops) in Japan.

How much time do you spend on each assignment?

Since I am used to studying intensively, it usually takes 7-10 hours.

How do you seek advice when uncertain about Assignments or University?

I usually seek help from tutors from Concordia and my classmates. It is very reassuring to have support from a tutor in any situation.

How do you manage the classes in CNC while attending Essex top-up program simultaneously?

Since there are only classes twice a week during my last semester at CNC, it is relatively easy to manage both.

What are the things that you are constantly putting effort into to graduate with a Business degree from Essex University?

In my free time, I often gather information related to any business to make the contents and the discussion more interesting; this way, I am educating myself in Business as much as possible.

A brief message for our future students

I connected with amazing people who have inspired me through this educational journey because many of the students here are encouraged and conscious about their future paths. After spending a year in Canada, I sometimes struggle with British accents, but it makes learning English more interesting. I assure my fellow students that the time spent preparing for their future careers during their studies at CNC and CIU is worth it. 


University of Essex: Colchester campus. (n.d.). Visit Colchester.

25 facts about University of Essex. (2022, February 16). Leverage Edu.

About Cloud Nine College (CNC)

Cloud Nine College is a premier vocational (Co-Op) college offering a range of specialized co-op courses and comprehensive Intensive English Programs, including test preparation courses for IELTS and general and business ESL courses to international students. It coordinates its programs uniquely in such ways that students can advance their education to the next level at universities and job opportunities.

CNC is also an online education platform offering online certificate, diploma, higher diploma, and postgraduate diploma programs progressing to online and offline undergraduate and postgraduate degrees awarded by various educational institutions and universities around the world

Cloud Nine College started as a language training institution back in 2010 and now has expanded into providing career training programs:

  • Hotel and Restaurant Management Co-op Diploma
  • Hotel and Restaurant Management Co-op Certificate
  • International Trade and Business Management Co-op Diploma
  • Professional Sales Co-op Certificate

Statement of Purpose

The mission of the Cloud Nine College is to assist students in defining and acquiring a comprehensive set of career training and English language skills that meet their objectives and help create meaningful pathways to and opportunities in their personal, educational, and commercial endeavors.

Learn more about CNC at