Najya Sophia, MALAYSIA
Family; after three weeks of being at Rendcomb College, that would be the one thing I have observed and I am happy to say I feel a part of it.
From the moment I stepped in I was welcomed, my differences celebrated instead of criticised, and my opinions respected. Even in the short time that I’ve been here, I’ve already made friends that I know I can trust, and that’s very much helped me find a sense of belonging, especially being so far away from home.
I decided to apply and take up the challenge of studying abroad. I’d always wanted to feel what it was like to live in the countryside, so the location was a bonus. I now wake up to a beautiful view every morning, and walk past sheep everyday on the way to my classes. Definitely something I wouldn’t find back home in KL!
My teachers have been very helpful and I really enjoy my lessons. There are so many co-curricular activities to choose from that I’m still conflicted on which ones I’m going to do, from horse-riding, to dance, music, not to mention the surprising interest I have found in playing hockey.
It’s a balance of work and play here at Rendcomb, everyone is very much focused on their studies, but banter and laughter are a constant.
In Rendcomb, I’ve found a home away from home.
Fear and excitement twirled and swirled in me even before I ever arrived at Rendcomb. Would I be appreciated? Would I settle in? What problems would I face in this new and foreign environment? As I passed through the gates of Rendcomb on my first day those thoughts for the first time in recent weeks began to die down. The beautiful surroundings rendered me speechless and I thought to myself no harm could befall me in this beautiful place.
During the next few days my initial fear of not fully integrating into the Rendcombian society disappeared totally and utterly, the staff are reassuring and always eager to help. The students are kind and full of philia (brotherly) love.
Although a new fear has arisen, a fear that I will not fully utilise the facilities here at Rendcomb, but if I do the moon is the limit because Paul Brandt once said:
“Don't tell me the sky's the limit when there are footprints on the moon.”
When I first arrived at Rendcomb, I was really nervous. I was scared of not making any friends and feeling homesick. I remember the first day like it was yesterday. I was sitting in the common room of Stable House squeezing my Dad’s hand. I had to say goodbye to my family and my friends for half a year, I was not in my comfort zone, I was not even in the same country as my family, but that is what life is about. One cannot experience new, exciting things if one does not take the risk and step outside of your comfort zone. On that day, I learned a very important lesson: “life begins outside your comfort zone”.
It takes a few days to get used to everything but you quickly get to know everyone. Of course, you sometimes miss home, that is completely normal. You can always keep in touch with your friends and family at home via Skype, however, the people at Rendcomb become your new family.
Before I came here everybody told me that I would make friends for life. At first I was a bit sceptical and could not believe it, but now I can confirm that this is 100% true. One great advantage about boarding schools is that you are able to be around your friends 24/7. That way you get close to people very quickly. If you want to talk to your best friend, you just need to knock at the door next to yours.
On Sundays the whole boarding house usually does fun things, like going to Cheltenham, going camping, laser tag, going to the cinema, going canoeing. I cannot even list all the fun things we have done together as a family. Additionally, you get the chance to meet people from different countries and you improve your English and you make your first contact with the English school system. One thing that comes to my mind, is the Chinese New Year, which we celebrated in February. You get the chance to explore different cultures.
Of course Rendcomb is not only your second home, but your school too. It can sometimes get stressful around here, especially in exam weeks, but all the teachers do their best to prepare you for your exams. If you do not understand something you can just ask them, even after school. Some teachers even offer revision periods on Sundays which is extremely helpful.
The time I spend here really changed me. I have definitely grown as a person. I am so glad and grateful that I had the opportunity to spend such amazing six months at Rendcomb College. If I hadn’t come to Rendcomb I would not have met all these lovely, sweet and caring people. My advice to everyone, who is considering to spend some time abroad is do it! If you get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity like that, do not miss it.
Boarding, being away from home for so long, was a new experience for me, but I was very happy in Stable House and never really felt homesick or lonely. There was always someone to talk to who could help me and give me advice and take care of me, just like at home.
Watching a movie with the other girls with some popcorn in the cinema room on Saturday was always very nice and relaxing after and before a long week of school. The time in Stable was always fun and I felt very homely and comfortable!
The experience I had at Rendcomb has changed me and so everything is a bit different now, of course, but I got back into my "old life" very quickly. As I really enjoyed playing hockey at Rendcomb, I stopped ballet dancing in Germany and now play hockey. The experience I had at Rendcomb and the social life were very precious.
I had a good start back in my old school, but still miss Rendcomb a lot and hope to come back to visit and see everyone again.
The time that I have spent at Rendcomb has been an experience that I will never forget. I joined aged 12 and as every new student I was scared, I didn't know what to expect, I was in a new country where they spoke a language that I wasn't familiar with, but I noticed my English quickly improve, I quickly made some friends from all over the world, amazing people that I loved spending time with.
When I left my family behind in Spain I thought that it was going to be hard and that I was going to miss having someone that could look after me, but my House Parents showed me that they could look after me as a new member of their family and they were supportive and helpful in every single way.
I was introduced to new sports and experiences such as rugby, hockey, cricket and many more, which helped boost my confidence and team working capabilities.
The school also has great facilities such as the frequently used Science laboratories, the library and the new Performing Arts Centre, this makes lessons more exciting and easier to cope with.
Rendcomb was like a second family to me and if I had the chance to redo my time I would definitely do it over and over again!
I've been in Rendcomb College for almost a year now and I, myself, fail to understand how-come I've never felt homesick even once.
My experience has been incredible, going up and down like a rollercoaster. I'm not going to lie, it was not all ups, I've had my bad days here too and living away from my family isn't fun all the time, but Rendcomb has played a major part in teaching me life skills about how to face obstacles and actually shaping my personality in a different direction
Rendcomb has this very home-like atmosphere which really helps in settling quickly for any new domestic or international student. I joined school a month late and not even for a single minute did I feel pressurised about the work that I'd missed, instead the support I'd received from all my teachers made me realise it's not about cramming things up, it's about understanding them.
Rendcomb shapes you not just in a single aspect, but tries to get you to reach your full potential in every aspect of life, be it social life, academic or sports, you are guided at every step. You get appreciation when you deserve it and you get support when you fail, it's very simple here.
This is a place where you get the best of both worlds, with countryside views and city-like teaching. People here are very down to earth, but equally witty at the same time. The amount of work equals the amount of fun you have. You have shoulders to cry on for your bad days and you get hands to walk along with for your happy days. Rendcomb has the perfect blend to make you a responsible adult which, according to me, is the most important thing.
I am 17 and I am from a little town in Italy called Chianciano Terme. I have always wanted to study in England, and for the last six months I've been attending Rendcomb College. I was associated to 6 different schools, of which I visited 3 in March 2015. Rendcomb was the second one, but it immediately seemed like the right one. The first thing that impressed me wasn't only the beautiful Victorian structure, but the warmth with which I was welcomed.
Students, teachers, but also members of staff have included me from the outset, making it even easier for me to call it "my second home", now. After only a month of thinking, I decided that in September I would start my A levels at Rendcomb. My English was already acceptable, but I have to admit that the integration system for international students is extremely easy: every year students arrive from Germany, Spain, China, Austria, and India. In these cases, Rendcomb offers EAL,"English as a second language". In these lessons you don't only learn grammar and lexicon, but you are also prepared for the IELTS exams, fundamental for foreign students that want to attend an English university.
Personally, I attended EAL for a term and then was awarded a level C2, showing how useful the course can be. Apart from giving me the chance to learn another language, Rendcomb has offered me many other opportunities. I can continue playing my violin here, and three times a week we do sports, alternating hockey, lacrosse and tennis during the year. Thanks to "games" I have learnt to love physical activity by working in a team where everyone supported and knew each other.
I am a "full-time boarder" in the sense that I eat, sleep and live at school, and even if it may look scary, I think this is the best part of the Rendcomb experience. Living in a house like Park changes you radically. I have learned to cohabit with both sexes and to respect others, but most importantly I have surrounded myself of people that are now a family, for me. I can't deny that my first two weeks were quite tough, I missed my mother, brother and sister; but everyone, from the first to the last student, have been next to me, always trying to make me smile.
The teacher-student relationship, then, is very different to the traditional one: we are treated as adults, and because the classes are very small (my maximum is of 8), we are given a lot more attention. Additional revision sessions are organised for whoever has the need, and every student is thoroughly prepared for exams.
Having studied at a very challenging Scientific High school I thought that studying 4 or 5 subjects would have been easy, but I was wrong. English educational system is everything but superficial, and I find the fact that it is possible to choose to study only certain subjects, based on the student's interests, really positive and preparing the student for university.
Another advantage of Rendcomb is that university choice and application are assisted. The teachers help students to find the perfect course and location, all in the expected time.
I'd be an advocate for Rendcomb no matter who you are: it has made me more curious, mature and independent both inwardly and towards other people.
Anna progressed to Oxford University in September 2017.
I am 17, and I am from the Ukraine from the city which is called Odessa. I joined Rendcomb in Year 11 and have been studying here for already 3 years.
Before, studying in England was like a dream for me, however dreams come true! I was lucky to join this place because the atmosphere in this College is really friendly.
A big part of Rendcomb life is boarding; I think it creates an impression of being at home. House Parents will always provide you with the assistance which you need whether it is in the day or at night, and they will always try to create an atmosphere of being at home, which I think they sucessfully do.
I never felt 'home sick' as I get involved in different sorts of activities taking place in the College. This could be a wide range of activities involving indoor, outdoor sports or it could be more of a 'lesson based' activity like a revision session or a clinic for a subject which you find challenging. You will always be offered help from your subject teacher, it could be a one-one extra lesson or a group of students with simlliar challenges.
I would certainly recommend Rendcomb College as a place to study but as well, a place in which you will be always be warmly welcomed!
English was one of my biggest weaknesses and it had become the requirement for all my daily communication. I think that was my greatest problem. Not more and not less. But when this had ended I experienced one of the best times in my life!
The A-levels that I took were Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Economics and German. I wanted to maximise my benefit from this year. After five weeks I understood the difference between knowing something and having realised something: I count not fail so there no reason to be nervous or worrying about something. As soon as I realised this my English started improving dramatically and I got my first successes in class.
If I am allowed to give you an advice when you want to learn another language: enjoy it and be confident otherwise your brain will sabotage every approach to reach this goal. In addition, look at the new language as something different. Do not try to extent your first language into the language you wish to learn. It will frustrate you because you only look at differences between the two languages. You only learn when you are not allowed to use our set of rules. You will miss the versatility every language can offer to you. Except it as something different. Then you are going to realise that there far more similarities than you have believed before. As soon as you start tackling this big challenge in this way it becomes much easier, very enjoyable and finally far more successful.
Since I started enjoying studying at Rendcomb I had been trying to improve myself. It had been my ambition to leave Rendcomb more independent and prepared and well-equipped for life. The inspiring of our Headmaster, Mr. Jones, have always been in my mind “become the best as you can”. Probably these words are going to stay there for much longer.
I have learnt so much about life, myself and other people. I know how to tackle new situation even if I am confronted with my biggest weaknesses and still enjoy life.
Finally I just want to recommend Rendcomb as a school to help you move on in life. I owe a lot to it and the people with whom I had the pleasure to spend a wonderful year with. Rendcomb provides the best place and atmosphere to reach your limits and go beyond them. You will be surprised how far you can go!
My time at Rendcomb was the best time of my life!
When I first visited Rendcomb, I read a letter from Ricky, one of the German girls who attended Rendcomb the year before. She said a lot of great things about Rendcomb life and especially about Stable House ; at first I thought she was exaggerating but now I know that she wasn't!!!
I decided to go to England to have new experiences and to improve my English, but what I didn´t expect was to "find" a new family, but that's what I found. I met the best people in the whole world!
In the summer I am going to fly to Spain to see Laia , Bego and Carlota again and I am already so excited!
Stable House wasn't just the boarding house I had to live in, it was my home. Rendcomb is , and will always be my home.
I hope that someday I will have the opportunity to return, at least to say 'Hello'.
On the first day of the Michaelmas term everyone was a bit reserved, but a good few friends were made very quickly! Together we explored everything around the beautiful campus of Rendcomb College. Everything was so calm and stunning, in particular Main College. I thought I would become homesick in the first week, but I was only happy.
The first school day was nothing to worry about. With the support of our house parents and tutor we got used to things like the timetable, meal-times and all other things we needed to know. Even if the daily routine was quite highly structured in contrast to mine in Germany, I would never like to have missed it because this structure makes the day more interesting! The games and activities were my highlights of the week. I very much enjoyed doing specific activities like Digital Media Club or Podcasting. Playing Rugby became one of my favourite things at Rendcomb, it is not very hard to play and it was so much fun!
At Rendcomb you need to study very hard, but in a way I enjoyed very much. The small number of pupils in each class enables the teachers to work with you on problems and answer every question to improve your knowledge in each subject very quickly.
I enjoyed being part of Rendcomb very much and I think being a part offers you new opportunities to succeed in becoming the person you want to become. I would like to say thank-you that I had the chance of being a part of the 'Rendcomb Family'! I will never forget the time I had!