I arrived at Downside in the First Form (Year 7), having lived all my previous life in Nigeria. I was not very familiar with the environment, and it took me time to get accustomed to everything. I was worried about leaving the comfort of my own home, moving to a completely new country, and being away from my parents for such long periods of time. Now, however, I am confident in saying Downside is like a second home to me. When asked to describe what Downside means to me, I simply cannot say it enough in words. Apart from being welcomed so quickly into the community, I have gained an immense amount of academic, musical, sporting and most importantly, spiritual enlightenment.
A year before I joined the School, I was given a tour along with my parents and two of my brothers who also joined the School. From that moment, it was clear that Downside was the right place for me. I was quickly able to get involved in the Downside life and discover my passions and explore my talents. Having been at Downside for several years, I have been able to attain an academic and music scholarship which undoubtably have helped me thrive as an individual. With all this in mind, after Sixth Form, I intend to go to university in the UK where I hope to study Law and Spanish, and hopefully attain a Master’s degree in something similar as well.
As an overseas student, keeping in contact with family remains highly important. I have been able to do so with ease, frequently messaging them and speaking to them over the phone. Feeling homesick nevertheless, is normal and affects a lot of students, however, with the help of the friendly staff and supportive students I was able to overcome this. I strongly believe that Downside is the right place for overseas families as, not only does it provide a strong sense of stability, but it also offers a deeply welcoming community that is unmatched anywhere else. Downside’s impeccable values and ethos reflect greatly on each student and focus on concern for the individual, meaning that everyone’s beliefs are held highly and respected.
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