The truth about studying abroad

The truth about studying abroad

Going away to boarding school can be a scary experience, but there's really nothing to worry about - even those intimidating English schools aren't so bad

If someone mentions English boarding schools, what image comes to mind? If it isn't Hogwarts, it's probably of a gloomy, dark building where students are treated like prisoners.

But movies and books don't always tell the full story. I go to boarding school, and while it isn't exactly the best place in the world, it's not all bad. In fact, boarding overseas can be a lot of fun.

Here's the truth behind the eight biggest boarding myths.

The lifestyle is boring

Life at boarding school is so hectic you won't have a chance to be bored. The day starts at 7.30am, and with lessons, extra-curriculars, and rehearsals, you'll be flat out until at least 7pm.

It's great to be with your friends at the weekend, too. We get to go into town on Saturdays; Sunday nights are for films and ice cream.

Older students are bullies

The most responsible older students are selected as prefects, which means it's their job to make sure we younger students are behaving ourselves.

The school's head girl also visits us regularly to check we are all right. The older students are always really supportive, and never bully the younger ones.

You lose contact with your parents

Keeping in touch with friends and family overseas has never been easier. You're free to Whatsapp, Facetime and iMessage on your phone, and Skype or Facebook on your computer whenever you're not in class.

Matrons are mean

The matron is in charge of making sure students are fit and healthy. They have a reputation of being evil witches, roaming about boarding houses at night.

But really a matron is more like a second mum. She can be strict, but she's always caring. If you're feeling sick, she's there to take care of you.

The food's disgusting

OK, the food is not exactly Michelin-star quality, and you'll miss some Hong Kong treats, but it's not all bad. A lot of the dishes involve sausages, chips or steak pies. At least it's all filling, which you'll want during winter.

Everyone has an eating disorder

Society puts a lot of pressure on girls to look a certain way. Anorexia and bulimia are serious conditions, and luckily our school makes sure students have a balanced diet.

Most of us love food so much, that when the lunch bell rings, there is a swarm of girls pushing to get into the dining room.

Freezing cold showers

Nobody wants to wake up to a cold shower, especially during a chilly English winter. Boarding school showers are generally not that great, but at least they work, and the water is normally at least lukewarm. Besides, there's no point worrying: you get used to it!

The dorms are old

Our dorms are the nicest part of the entire school. There are soft carpets on the floor, and chairs to relax on. The walls are painted in a light pastel colour, which is both welcoming and relaxing. It might even be nicer than my bedroom back home!

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Everything's above board

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