Netball, Saturday School, Tea and Uniforms: Study Abroad in the United Kingdom

Two Athenians are currently studying abroad with sister Round Square schools in the United Kingdom.  Tope F. ’13 is studying at the Abbotsholme School in England and Lauren S.D. ’15 is at The Gordonstoun School in Scotland.  Both Tope and Lauren will be in England and Scotland for about two months and will be chronicling their experiences on The Athenian Exchanges Blog.

Tope Arrives at Abbotsholme

abbotsholme school

My first few weeks at Abbotsholme have been filled with meeting new people, getting settled in my cabin, and traveling around the area.

I flew out of SFO on British Airway’s daily direct flight to Heathrow Airport.  Because of a late take-off from SFO, I had the misfortune of having 20 minutes to run through the busiest airport in the world (Heathrow) to make my flight to Manchester. I landed in Manchester at around 1:30pm (England time) where I was met by a private hire taxi who drove me about an hour to the countryside, which is where the Abbotsholme School is located. Upon being dropped off, I was taken to the sixth form boarding house (years 11 and 12 in America), Barnfield, commonly known as the cabins. There are a total of five cabins, which are mini-houses equipped with full kitchens. My cabin has five other girls: one exchange from New Brunswick Canada, two gap years, and two Chinese girls.

That night, I was formally introduced all of the boarding sixth formers in our house meeting and was told the basic ins and outs of being a boarder. After the meeting, it was time to go back to our cabins to get ready for bed and for our first day of class. I was very grateful because I was completely exhausted from my day of traveling.  Read more.

Lauren’s first 24 hours at Gordonstoun

So far, my first 24 hours at Gordonstoun have been filled with new surprises and excitement (plus a little jet lag). Right now, I am writing to you from the common room (which is full of squashy arm chairs and bean bags) of Hopeman house, the place where I am staying while at Gordonstoun.Lauren

My journey began on Wednesday around 4:45 pm (San Francisco time) when my flight to London took off. I arrived in London around 10:40 am (Scotland time) and I just made my flight to Aberdeen which left at 11:40. Mr. Smit, the father of my exchange Hannah Smit (who is now at Athenian) and the Chaplain and ISC teacher at Gordonstoun, picked me up and gave me a ride to the school. I learned that I was “in the sticks” now, because our drive was in the country and filled with rolling hills, trees, farms, and quite a bit of sheep. Read more.

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