Mai comes from Thailand and has been boarding for nearly 7 years. It exceeded her expectations as she thought she would be in large cubicles, shared with lots of other people. At first it was strange to live with friends and do everything together, but now she loves it. She has learnt how to live independently but knows she can talk to anyone if she needs emotional support or just a friendly chat. She’s planning to go to university to study medicine and to travel. She also hopes to volunteer to teach English in schools in rural Thailand.
I enjoy the buzzing, lively atmosphere in the Boarding House and the staff encourage me to try new things.
Caro has been a boarder since she was in Year 9. With a father serving in the armed forces, boarding throughout her school career has given Caro stability and consistency in her education. She says being at her full-boarding GSA Boarding School has given her a rich and busy extra-curricular life along with increasing independence as she has reached the Sixth Form.
I’ve made friends for life here, and have been encouraged to explore every possible opportunity, stretching myself in so many ways.
Prior to joining her GSA Boarding School, Davina attended an independent school in Kuwait. Although she was excited at the prospect of joining, she was equally wary about moving to another country and continent to board for the first time. While she had a few moments of homesickness, these quickly passed given how warmly she was welcomed. Davina enjoys the broad range of co-curricular activities, and quite often finds it remarkably difficult to decide which ones to do, given the endless options.
I’ve had the chance to develop friendships with girls from all over the world and I’m sure that these friendships will last.
When Hanaé first joined her GSA Boarding school aged 11, she had never been in an English-speaking school before. Hanaé’s family live in Morocco and she’s loving her boarding experience in the UK. Before she arrived she was excited about her new adventure and has settled in quickly, enjoying the clubs, friends and food at her new school.
When you first arrive here as a new girl, you’re given a Guardian Angel – an older girl who is there to help you and answer all your questions. People are so friendly, it’s been easy to make myself at home here.
Kate has been boarding at her GSA school for three years. Her father, who lives in London, travels for work and is currently in Manhattan, while her mother is in Zurich.
Kate really enjoys the time she gets to spend with them and very much appreciates them as her long-distance support team. She has loved her time boarding and feels as though the bonds with her family have not lessened, but flourished. She has thrown herself into many new clubs and hobbies and made some profound friendships.
In my first years here, I didn’t really get homesick, since there are so many activities to enrol in and people to meet. I would dive right into whatever I was doing and before I knew it, I was home again!
Maria is Russian and, having previously attended the British International School of Moscow for 9 years, had no previous experience of boarding before joining her GSA Boarding school in Year 8. She chose boarding because it was a new experience and her parents live abroad. She loves the close relationship between all the boarders in her boarding House, especially the relationship between the different year groups. Maria feels that she has gained understanding and valuable experience of living with other people in close quarters for an extended period of time. She plans to go to university in England to study politics.
Boarding is a unique experience as it allows girls from all over the world to develop close family-like relationships and learn about each other’s cultures as well as learning to live independently.
Munashe does flexi-boarding which means she can stay overnight at her GSA Boarding School two or three nights per week. The benefits of being able to do this are that it’s easy to get involved in things like the sports matches and training without facing a long commute home afterwards. The close-knit houses make boarding, even a few nights a week, a supportive, comfortable environment
School is not just a place for learning in lessons; boarding is like a sleepover with friends and we can easily chat and confide in the House staff.
Munashe (pictured left)
Pia joined her GSA Boarding School in Year 7. She had previously gone to a day school in London and was anxious about the boarding experience and the extended time away from home, however she made tight bonds with the girls in her house and immersed herself in exciting, new activities, such as playing for the lacrosse team. Pia feels that she has particularly benefited from making new friends from other countries and has also appreciated the additional support provided by tutors and House staff.
[Boarding] has pushed me out of my comfort zone and encouraged me to take part in rewarding experiences. I was struck by the welcoming, kind atmosphere within the school community.