Settling in from Overseas

Posted on 27 March 2017
Tagged with: Education, Happiness, Independent Schools, International Student, Ipswich High School, Languages, Sixth Form

My name is Helen and I'm from Italy. I'm 16 years old and I've been studying at the Sixth Form at Ipswich High School since last September.

At first, it was a bit difficult to get used to another learning in another language and completely change my routine; in Italy, I used to finish school at lunchtime! However, the school routine quickly became normal and I am very happy here. I've met a lot of new people and became good friends with my peers in Year 12 and 13.

I’m studying English literature, Religious studies and Psychology. At the beginning, I was unsure of my A Level choices, because they are all subjects where you have to be prepared to have original ideas and debate in class. Psychology is a scientific subject so it is not actually subjective, but you have to evaluate what you study throughout the course. Now, after six months, I'm convinced that I made the right choices. These three subjects give me a wider view of the future and also enrich my knowledge through history, poetry, philosophy and science.

I still remember my first day at Ipswich High School, it was very strange. I remember that I couldn't find classrooms and I didn't know anybody, but my classmates helped me to settle in. My first lessons were tricky because it was such a shock to be taught completely in English after being taught in Italian for so long. But now, with a lot of practice and support, I'm doing well.

I love what I'm doing now and I’m totally used to timetables, lessons in English and essays. The only thing that I will never get used to are the stairs to the Sixth Form, especially when you are carrying a lot of folders and a laptop! 

Helen, Year 12 Student