I had never really changed my way of life before. Everyday I was surrounded by the same people in school, same people at home, and the same routine. It wasn’t bad or I wasn’t necessarily unhappy, but deep down, I knew that I wanted to experience something different, something to make me feel more alive, happier. Going abroad was one of my dreams ever since I was small, so I said to myself: “Why not try it now?”
I wanted a change, and I got one. This school year, at age fifteen, I got the opportunity to attend St. George’s School for Girls in Edinburgh, Scotland for four months and I couldn’t be more grateful. This experience has been a major positive for me.
At first, it was tough: I was in a new, unfamiliar place, I had to find my way to classes, establish my place in the ‘community’ and that takes time. But at St. George’s there was always someone to help me find teachers or classes, and to help with anything else. In a way, it gave me the sense of belonging despite being so new to the school.
Then there was a point when I woke up and thought: “What am I doing? I have this chance and I am wasting it on so many levels.” At that point, I started really enjoying my time, and taking more advantage of the opportunity.
Whenever I struggled with something in class I didn’t think twice about asking the teachers who were happy to answer my questions. Even though the teachers knew I was leaving in December, they never made me feel as if I was less important than the others, nor was there any indication they were less keen to spend extra time with me despite me not preparing for exams. The whole environment at the school was extremely friendly, and the girls were all very welcoming.
Despite the early ‘growing pains’, I opened up to the opportunities later on. The friendly atmosphere at St. George’s made it a lot easier. I would recommend the school to all girls looking for a new experience, because that’s what I thought when I stepped through the school gates. It was a wonderful difference that changed my views on life and I would do anything to go back.
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