Moving school is often talked about as a daunting experience - but two of our newest students, Yara and Sayuri, shared that their move to Halcyon couldn’t have been more different. In this interview, our new Grade 9 students explain how a warm, open-minded, and supportive school community can make moving school a treasured memory.
Expectations vs. reality: a warm and welcoming community
“It was my first time moving to an international school, so I really didn’t know what to expect,” shared Sayuri, who joined Halcyon at the beginning of the year after attending secondary school in Japan.
“But I quickly found that the whole school is really open-minded and welcoming.”
Yara, who went to school in the United Arab Emirates before starting school at Halcyon in September, agreed.
“I was a bit nervous at first, because I was moving to a completely different country and starting at a very different school. But it turned out to be really nice. The community is very welcoming; I didn’t feel like a stranger when I came in on the first day.”
How great teachers can make a difference to new students
Our new joiners were keen to share how enjoyable their first few months at Halcyon have been. Getting involved in classroom activities and extra-curriculars can be a big step after moving school - but, as Sayuri and Yara explained, dynamic lessons and inspiring teaching can make a big difference.
“Every lesson sparks new discussions and ideas, which is exciting,” reflected Sayuri. “The teachers aren’t afraid of having fun, too - everyone feels equal.”
“The school really encourages students to express what they think and how they feel about what they learn. It feels very free,” added Yara, “which is really important at school - it’s a happier place to be because of that. It really boosts students’ self-confidence to feel listened to like this.”
Sayuri agreed, adding that “this makes us really want to engage in things outside of class - like extra-curricular activities.”
Making new friends: finding connection through difference
We all know that one of the most important aspects of moving school is making friends - especially when you have recently moved to a new country, like many of Halcyon’s newest students. As a small international community which is comprised of over 30 nationalities, every student brings an exciting wealth of experiences, cultural insights, and stories to Halcyon’s campus.
“You can always find someone who you can get on with; someone who understands you well,” explained Sayuri.
We asked both students to tell us their favourite thing about Halcyon, and (after turning to Yara with a smile to say ‘you’, which received an ‘aw’ and a warm hug), they settled on the diversity of both our curriculum and our community.
“The things we learn are often presented from really different perspectives, and different people in class add their own thoughts into the discussion too, so we get to expand our world through learning. It’s this kind of diversity in the school that really enriches my education,” answered Sayuri.
Yara too reflected on the diversity of interests and intellectual pursuits that energise the school community.
“There’s nothing to stop students expressing what they’re really interested in, so the environment feels really open-minded and understanding,” she shared.
We're so pleased to hear that our students have had a wonderful first term at Halcyon - and we're excited to welcome more! We invite you to view our Open Houses and arrange a visit.