EF Academy Torbay - Review #2
About the Author:
|College Enrolled||Cardiff University|
|Home Town, State (Country)||Jakarta, none|
|Years Attended Boarding School||2|
|Activities During Boarding School||Head Student of EF Academy Torbay (2014-2015) Silver award in Duke of Edinburgh (2013-2015) Captain of the Basketball Team (2013-2015) Founder of the Chess Club with Maths Teacher Bryan Heavens (2013-2015) Member of the Salsa Club (2014-2015) Community Service Prefect (2014)|
1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
Being an International Private Boarding School in the UK, EF Academy Torbay offers the opportunity to get into world renowned universities for students who have the willingness to study overseas. Guided and taught by experienced teachers in a class of small groups, I was able to achieve the highest academic standards (A*AA at A-Level in Mathematics, Biology and Chemistry) and took part in leading the student council as Head Boy, an experience that is very applicable in my life as a Medical student.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
By coming to EF, I learned to discover myself, how I work best, how to manage my time effectively and making friendships with new friends from all over the world. During my second year, I was elected as head boy following weeks of campaign and a speech that I couldn't have done without the help of my teachers and friends. In addition, getting into Cardiff Medical School in the UK is also another achievement that I'm really grateful of.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
I would like to get to know more people during my first year, take part in more activities and manage my time more efficiently.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
I liked everything from the school!
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Visit the Torquay Harbour and beaches and definitely try the food at the school canteen. Go and wait for sunset in the balcony outside the arts room for a beautiful photo. Words of wisdom: Use your time wisely and don't be shy!
1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The quality of teaching is at a very high standard and lessons are delivered in small groups of 4-6 students, where everyone receives one-to-one guidance from the teachers. All of the teachers are very friendly and respectful. I enjoyed this type of learning environment as teachers do get to know each students better. By finding out individual strength and weaknesses in terms of learning, exam preparation becomes way easier for students. Not only the teachers care about your exams, but they care about every student's needs even when outside the classroom. As part of the induction programme at the beginning of the year, students are allowed to attend a 'give-it-a-go' session of all subjects before one choose a set of subjects that you think suits your interests or university requirements. English lesson (for the IELTS test) is compulsory for first years until you get the university requirement and testing service is available at the end of every term.
1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The school provides numerous opportunities to take part in regular and 'one-off' sports activities, ranging from Football to Rock Climbing. Regular clubs like football and basketball has a coach that leads the activities and team training takes place every week whenever we don't have local matches against other school. For those who likes going to the gym, EF provides free membership in Castle Gym within walking distance from the school.
1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
EF Torbay has its own music room (5th Floor Tower) that is available for all students while they are not booked for club use. The school has a lot of instruments, from guitars, drum sets, and a piano at the canteen for those who wants to hone their skills at their free time. Apart from this, there is a wide range of music clubs available including a DJ Club! Other popular clubs are the dancing club (Salsa) and Drama club. Due to the small size of the groups, you don't have to be very skilled to join a group. In fact, most of the students join in to learn a new musical instruments.
1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
Starting from their first weeks, students get to choose to join any extra-curricular activities. I joined the basketball team training every Friday night and played chess on Thursday. If you can name an activity that hasn't got a club yet, you just need to start one. If you need any help with joining a club, the Activities Coordinator will definitely be able to help you out regarding your level of skill. Every year, there is an election for head boy and girl alongside with the student council members such as prefects and tutor group representative that is available for students to apply for. The student council meets up every month where they discuss school matters and how students can further improve the school’s environment. It is also an opportunity for any students who wants to raise concern on anything at school through their tutor group. Apart from this, there are fun opportunities to raise money for charity like Children in Need and Macmillan where students in a tutor group decides to do something to get some donation. On one occasion students even raise money by filling the head teacher’s room with balloons for a pound each.
1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
Students can either stay in a residence (basically a catered dorm full of students) or stay with a host family. I stayed with a host family during the 2 years of my study. I was fortunate that the house where I'm staying in is very huge and the room is very spacious. There is a huge desk that we share for studying and a bunk bed for us to sleep on. My first roommate is from Hong Kong and we ended up being really good friends until now. The food is decent and I was rarely hungry at night. When I'm feeling hungry, I just need to get some food from the cupboard, as we were allowed to keep some snacks and or microwaveable food for late-night studying activities The host family has 3 children in which ended up being my best friends whom I still keep in touch with. The host dad and mom is really helpful whenever I need them and they even helped me with preparing my medical interview.
1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
Being somebody who eats a lot, the canteen at school never failed me. Breakfast is available from 7AM in the morning (including, hash browns, sausages, bacon, and eggs) and a you can even customize your own choice in a sandwich/baguette if you prefer. If class finishes early, the canteen is already serving lunch from 12PM. Lunch menus are always different every day and the canteen will give you a huge portion of food for 5 pounds. (you should see for yourself how much food is given) That said, you can choose whatever you want to eat, from rice/pasta/chips with different styles of chicken, pork, beef, and turkey.
1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
Torquay is a small town in South West of England where its mostly filled with tourists all the times. I personally think that a town (like Torquay) is more suitable for studying than cities. Don't get me wrong, you can still find lots of attractions and places to visit such as the Harbour with its fantastic scenery and the beaches in Torquay. When you have run out of places to go, there is always nearby town such as Paignton and Brixham that is just a few bus stops away. I liked the fact that people in Torquay are very friendly. During my stay, I joined a local Catholic church as an altar server where I met so many good people, including one who helped me to arrange a volunteering activity in France.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
You will never be bored of social life at school because you get to see so many people from a diverse range of nationalities and cultures every day. There is always a lot of people socializing in the cafeteria whatever the time is and the staffs are keen to interact with the students as well. We have around 3 parties every year, starting from the Welcoming party for new students on September, a Christmas party before we break up in the winter, and finished with a graduation party/may ball.
|8:30 AM||Lesson 1|
|9:30 AM||Registration @ Tutor Group|
|9:45 AM||Lesson 2|
|11:00 AM||Lesson 3|
|12:00 AM||Lesson 4|
|2:00 PM||Lesson 5|
|3:00 PM||Lesson 6|
|9:00 AM||Wake up|
|12:00 AM||Lunch with friends|
|2:00 PM||Library to return/borrow books|
|2:30 PM||Walk in the Harbour/around city centre|
|3:30 PM||Arrived at home - Studying|
|6:00 PM||Leave home|
|6:30 PM||Saturday Evening Mass at Church|
|8:00 PM||Studying and Free time|
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