Ellesmere Is A Great Place To Learn and Grow

(Charlotte, pictured left)

From the very beginning, when I first walked into Ellesmere College, I had this feeling that I had arrived at my second home, and that is because of the supportive community and welcome I received at the school.

I live in a small town, just one hour from Frankfurt, in the South West of Germany. Before I came to Ellesmere I studied at local a Grammar School. The school system and the lesson styles are completely different to that of the English system. However I prefer this style, because the teachers are really there for you and they care about your studies. They know your name right from the beginning and you don't feel excluded in any way. This is what I really like about Ellesmere College. My brother, Maximilian, also studied for two years at the school, so it was an easy decision for me to make to complete my International Baccalaureate at Ellesmere.

Boarding is essential when it comes to developing independence and finding yourself. As cliché as it sounds, this is what Ellesmere has allowed me to do, along with the girls in St Oswald's boarding house. Everyone instantly made me feel at home, and my apprehensions of being an international student disappeared. I live together with all my friends in a small community, which means that if I have any problems or worries my teachers and friends are constantly available. If you struggle with something or you need help in order to finish your work, then I have a personal tutor who is always there to help. The weekly routine is structured so that there are assigned times for working but also free time to socialise and keep in touch with family and friends at home. On the weekends there is a range of trips going to various towns and cities, which provide me with the opportunity to learn more about England.

My first year at Ellesmere has been a great chance to develop new skills and I have learnt a lot, especially through adventure training. I joined the Combined Cadet Force (CCF) because I was interested in the Army experience and I thought I wouldn't have another chance to do something like that. It improved my skills to lead and be conscientious under pressure. I have also learnt to survive in the open air even when you only have a sleeping bag and a rucksack. I have taken part in the various activities that Ellesmere offers which I have enjoyed and still do. I play hockey, which in my opinion was the most successful decision I have made. This sport was new to me and therefore I set myself a target of playing for the First Team in my second year, which I have achieved. The main benefit to me from being at the school has been to my confidence, which has improved enormously and also my teamwork and organisation skills.

Once I finish at Ellesmere I would like to take a gap year to gain some new experiences and work in different cultures. In autumn 2015 I will, hopefully, start at a University back home in Germany to study 'food technology'. The teachers at Ellesmere College are really helping and supporting me in order to achieve the grades I need. Being an international boarder is for me, next to the sport, is the best experience at Ellesmere, from the amazing memories to the unforgettable friends I have made, it is a great place to learn and grow as a person.