From Prague to Downe House

“My three months at Downe House have been the most amazing experience of my life. At home I go to a co-ed day school with no uniform in the centre of Prague and so in many ways, Downe House is very different!” Klara, Global Exchange student

9 January 2020

As part of the Global Schools Exchange programme which offers girls the opportunity to go to one of 16 partner schools across six continents, Downe House also welcomes a group of incoming exchange students every term. The Michaelmas term brought two girls from the Johannes Kepler Grammar School in the Czech Republic who joined the Sixth Form and really threw themselves into boarding school life. Joining the Lower Sixth in September, Klara and Ester each chose A Level subjects to study, lived in the Sixth Form boarding house and took full advantage of all the opportunities on offer. In the first of two reports, we hear from Klara,

“My three months at Downe House have been the most amazing experience of my life. At home I go to a co-ed day school with no uniform in the centre of Prague and so in many ways, Downe House is very different! I feel that boarding makes you more productive because everything is right on your doorstep and so you don’t waste any time travelling to and from school and it is so easy to get involved. I have been so grateful for the very warm welcome and support I got from all the staff and students, particularly my Tutor, Miss Tinman who I have met with every week and she has been so helpful and kind. The biggest difference for me is the number of subjects and it was a real treat to be able to focus on just four subjects as at my school, I take 12 subjects. I think that this has enabled a more in-depth level of study and analysis and I have learned so much about essay writing and have a much better idea of how to structure an essay.

What I have loved most about Downe House are all the co-curricular opportunities – there’s so much on offer. I have done netball, dance, basketball, volleyball, yoga and have particularly enjoyed the ‘Insanity’ workouts. I also got involved in House Drama, dance, art club and choir, all of which were great fun! The lectures have been so interesting – I particularly enjoyed the Sixth Form enrichment lectures and the talk about Higher Education research skills was very useful.

What is outstanding about Downe House is the culture of learning. It’s not just about taking exams and getting good grades although of course that matters; it seems that teachers nurture a love of learning for the sake of learning which I think is just so important and take you beyond what you need to learn for the exams. I found that boarding gave me so much more time for both learning as well as the space and all these fantastic facilities right on your doorstep. I would like to thank all the teachers and students for their very warm welcome and making this experience one I will never forget.”

Find out more about the Global Exchange programme

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