Case Study - Margaret
Nationality: Hong Kong Chinese
School: Dauntsey’s School
Course: A-levels in Art, Mathematics and Philosophy
Why did you choose to study in the UK?
I was at school in Hong Kong until I was 16. It was during Year 11 that I began to realise I wanted to study something artistic at university. My parents and I realised that I could better prepare myself for this at a British school than in Hong Kong, where there is a big focus on subjects like science and maths.
How did you find settling in at Dauntsey’s School?
It was a lot easier than I thought it would be – I was pretty settled within two weeks. I think that’s because I was busy with studying, but also with drama and music clubs and making new friends. Inevitably there were moments when I felt lonely, but there was always someone I could talk to or something to do and the moment soon passed. Dauntsey’s is a very friendly and open school and that makes a big difference when you start.
What’s boarding school life like?
Life here centres on the boarding house where we live. I am in an all-girls house of about 60 pupils. Our housemistress lives with her family next to the house, and is like a second mother to us all. She lays on fun activities like cake-baking or movie nights at the weekend and really knows and cares about each and every one of us. It really is like being in a large family! We have our own study-bedrooms and then there is a common room, kitchen, etc .We eat our meals in the main school, but can cook for ourselves if we choose to. We have internet access all the time, so I can contact my family whenever I like and they feel they are in touch with me and my life here in England. I am the first in my family to study outside Hong Kong, so they have had to adjust to my being here too.
How do you spend your spare time?
My free time here is all about drama,music and art. Dauntsey’s puts on a production every term, which kept me very busy last year. I’ve been lucky enough to be offered a place at Ruskin College, University of Oxford, to study Fine Art, so this year I can usually be found in the art studios working on my portfolio. The great thing about boarding life is that you have access to all these amazing facilities all of the time. I have also been on trips to local towns and cities as well as art trips to London. A huge highlight for me was a choir trip to Barcelona in Spain where we sang in the cathedral – that was quite an experience!
Would you recommend boarding in the UK?
Yes, absolutely! My life in Hong Kong was very frantic – it’s a busy city and there never seemed to be time or space to do anything after school. Here at Dauntsey’s there is time and space to try new things, make new friends and challenge yourself. I have certainly done things I never thought I could do. When I leave here in July I think I will be well prepared to take on the challenges of life at a British university!