Sammi Cheuk

During my 7 years at a UK boarding school, I have learned and experienced a lot of wonderful things. If you were to ask me what I loved about studying at a boarding school, the list would go on forever, but here are some of the things I would include.

I know that transportation time between home and school in the UK is a huge concern for students, especially those from Hong Kong. At UK boarding schools, classrooms and boarding houses are all within walking distance. The time saved by not having to travel long distances back and forth means that students can have more time to rest and study, making the whole learning environment more relaxing.  What’s more, as some of the teachers are also boarding house staff, the relationships between teachers and students are often a lot closer in a boarding school, and this gives the school a homely atmosphere.

A huge challenge that comes with studying in a boarding school is that you have to live away from home, and it is normal to feel homesick. What I loved about being in a boarding school, however, is that we were always surrounded byso many people. Most of us were living away from home, so we understood each other’s feelings better, which further strengthened our friendships, making us more like siblings than friends. Although our parents were not there most of the time, our teachers were there to guide us, and they were very supportive, which helped us to become more independent and to grow stronger through trial and error.

There were so many of us at the boarding school, and we did almost everything in groups. Living in the multi-cultural environment of the boarding school also gave me the chance to meet people from all over the world and from a variety of  different backgrounds. As I have plenty of experience living with so many people who are around my age, and as each person has their own personality, I have seen different kinds of friendship problems and have learned ways to deal with them peacefully.  So, not only has studying at a boarding school allowed me to acquire academic knowledge, it has also helped me to develop as a person, equipping me with the interpersonal skills that I will need to thrive in the society of grownups.

I was rarely given the chance to be bored at my boarding school, as there was always some sort of activity to participate in, such as cinema trips and outings to theme parks, which made my time outside of class fulfilling. Boarding schools are usually closed for the Christmas and summer holidays, which means that, most of the time, students go back to their own countries to be with their families. As we are all from different countries, I sometimes go to visit friends from other countries during term breaks in order to get to know more about their language and culture through first-hand experience. I would say that these experiences have broadened my horizons and were certainly memorable. Through experiencing both the happy times and the difficult times my friends and I have been through, I have learned to be more open minded, which has helped me build life-long friendships. Even now, I still keep in touch with the friends I made at my boarding school.

I am very fortunate and thankful to have had the opportunity to study at a UK boarding school. My experience there has definitely contributed to a significant part of my childhood and I am proud to say that it has shaped me into who I am today.