In general, life is no different for international students than for those from the UK. Like all our students, international students spend a full day at the School and, like their British peers, they return home in the evening. Some students live with their families and others live with guardians. We find that this system works well as it enables students to integrate into English life more fully than in a boarding school and it also allows students to learn English more easily and this helps with academic progress.
From time to time, international students may experience homesickness and cultural and language difficulties but this should not last long due to the warmth, support and understanding in our community. There is always someone to turn to, whether it be a fellow students or a member of staff. We all want you to be happy and to succeed and will do whatever we can to help that happen. All students have a Form Tutor, who is responsible for their academic, pastoral and social welfare. The Head of International Students and other members of the English as an Additional Language (EAL) department are additional points of contact and support.
Understandably it may be difficult at first to mix with British students as it takes time for overseas students to settle in and get used to what may be a completely different culture and way of life. However, we do encourage students as soon as possible to make the effort to talk to the British students, who will certainly be very welcoming and understanding. When opportunities exist to socialize with British students, it is very beneficial to take them and become involved in the school community and school life as quickly as possible. The sooner a student takes that step, the sooner he or she will feel at home and settled. The same is true in class – the sooner a student begins to take part, the sooner he or she will gain in confidence and start to progress.
From Combined Cadet Force (CCF) to drama, music, sports teams and public speaking, St Edward’s offers a wide variety of extra-curricular activities for international students. These take place for the most part at lunchtime or after school and are a positive feature of an independent education. All students are encouraged to get involved and to aim to excel in this area of school life in addition to their academic efforts. There are many opportunities to learn new skills, represent the school, follow interests and have fun!
To help students develop new friendships at the School, the School is divided into three houses – Fisher, More and Newman. Form Groups meet every morning and afternoon and the register is taken. All international students whatever their length of stay will be members of a House as well as members of a Form Group.
A strong guidance network is provided by Form Tutors, Heads of Year and the Head of Careers and Higher Education Guidance as we want all our international students to have a very enjoyable time with us and be prepared for the next step in their education, wherever it may be.
There is also a School Nurse on site near the Main Office if a student needs medical attention.