Life in a boarding school (by Anna-Lena]

A year abroad is like a roller-coaster ride. First you really want to take a shot, then it goes fast! Just after you are in, the queasy feelings appear and then there are highs and lows, but it changes fast! At the end, you are happy that it’s over, but most likely you want to stay seated and go again.

This quote is reflecting my opinion of the year abroad in lots of ways. I am in Scotland now for one year to mostly improve my English, but also to get to know other cultures and traditions.

When I first came to Scotland, lots of things were different to Germany! Like the daily routine, the language, and the school system, but also the weather. I am going to a boarding school near Edinburgh.

There is a house for girls from 2nd-5th form (7.-10. Klasse). In my year, 4th form, we are sharing rooms with one to three people. We must get up at 7.10 to go to breakfast at 7.20 in another building, as a year group all together, we sometimes must wait for some friends who overslept! The school starts at 8.20 from Monday to Saturday — Yes, right! We have school on Saturdays :-( — with a tutor, which means we have a teacher who is responsible for us by telling us what should happen at that day and if we had or have problems with some teachers or pupils. Then we have four subjects before lunch at 12.40.

On Tuesday and Thursday and Saturday we have then typical British games, which means depending on the term, Lacrosse, Hockey, or tennis, on Monday and Wednesday we have then two other lessons and on Friday three and chapel, which is quite funny sometimes, because sometimes it’s more a performance of, for example, native Africans jumping around, dancing and singing in church and we must wear a chapel kit, boys and girls with the traditional Scottish kilt, a skirt!

We normally wear school uniform - girls a blue skirt and boys black trousers with a white blouse and a red jacket. Except for Wednesday, where we have a military practice called CCF (Combined Cadet Forces), which is like the ex-German “Wehrdienst” just for 14 and 15 year olds. In CCF we are wearing military uniform and shoot with weapons and must walk in line and stand still … but it isn’t as exciting as it sounds! For me it’s just boring and very cold too, to stand 2 hours in the cold outside, still! When we are ill in the boarding school, of course, our parents aren’t here to help us, so we have about 12 rooms, called med centre, where we can go to see the nurses, who tell us to go to bed or go back to lessons.

The worst thing

for about that year full of new experiences is not the language, it’s that I miss my family sooo much! As well as my friends. But I skype with them every day to be up to date to what happens at my home.

The best thing

for me in this year is the new language, English and the Scottish culture, to make the experience to wear a school uniform, to try new things that aren’t existing in Germany like sports as Lacrosse and hockey! It is just so different from my life here!

I wouldn’t like to stay in Scotland forever, but it’s very nice for one year and a really good life experience which everyone, who likes to get to know the world and travels from heart should make, because it’s worth the lows!

Anna-Lena Moritz