A 20-year-old student who arrived in the UK four years ago unable to say hello has secured an offer to study medicine at university. 

Suffolk New College Niks Pavels, from Ipswich, arrived in the UK from Latvia and is now on track to follow his dreams working in dermatology. 

He is currently on an access to higher education science course, and prior to that he spent a year on an English for speakers of other languages programme before studying GCSEs in English and Maths.

He said: "My homeland is Latvia.

"I had never been to the UK before coming here to live.

"I was accepted by the college but my English was so bad.

Ipswich Star: Niks PavelsNiks Pavels (Image: Suffolk New College)

"But I learnt very quickly and my teachers helped me a lot. I was shy to speak the language, but they put me in situations where I had to speak."

Niks will finish his course at Suffolk New College this year, and has the choice of going the study medicine at Worcester, health care in Birmingham or Biology in Bristol.

He continued: "Long term, I want to specialise in dermatology.

"My grandmother has skin problems and this is where my interest in this subject began.

"I'm excited by the future. Since coming to the UK, I believe that every day there are people here who can help you, this really is a country of opportunities."

Gareth Morris, head of service industries and science at the college, said: "The journey that Niks has been on so far has been phenomenal.

"To go from not speaking English to potentially studying medicine at a British university is simply inspirational."