When Nnamdi Onyegu first answered a science question at Bristol Met, some of his classmates laughed at him.
It was two years ago and Nnamdi had only just arrived in Bristol, having spent most of his school years in Italy, where he was born, as well as some time in Nigeria.
Now the 16-year-old, of Fishponds, is celebrating an impressive set of GCSE results - including grade 6 scores for combined sciences.
He is now set to study maths, law and economics A-levels at St Brendan’s College in Brislington.
After that, Nnamdi hopes to study at the London School of Economics. His ambition is to work for the United Nations.
Before starting at Bristol Met in September 2016, Nnamdi had only what he described as “basic English”.
“I could hear what people said but to respond would be a bit difficult,” he said.
“I had to work hard. I used to stay in school until 7 to revise while my friends were out and about but I’m reaping the benefits now, and that’s what matters.”
Nnamdi achieved two 7s, five 6s and two 4s, with a B in further maths.
He said: “People laughed at me when I first spoke in class but I didn’t give up - I did better than those people who were laughing at me that day.”