Tabitha and Ivie (LV) share their experience spent at Westover School in the USA.

25 April 2023

Our journey started with us waking up at 4am for a 7am flight from Heathrow. It was quite confusing to get around, but we had clear instructions on the WhatsApp group chat we had with Mrs Adams and Ms Akhtar, so all was well. The flight was long, but the views when we got into JFK were amazing!

Tabitha: One of my favourite views I’ve seen was seeing the skyline of New York as we landed! When we arrived we were greeted by TW who took us to the school.

The school was so beautiful. It was lovely and sunny when we arrived. The campus was almost as big as Downe’s, but most of the classes took place in the same buildings!

Ivie: The dorms were very nice. There were different corridors for different age groups, and because my buddy, Logan, was in the year above me, I stayed with her on the year above’s corridor.

The school day at Westover is drastically different to here. Classes started at 8am in the morning, but you could wake up whenever your first class started. On Thursdays everyone gets a ‘sleep in’, and classes are pushed back until 9am. The school day typically went until about 3:30pm, after which we would have activities until 5:30pm. This included sports, or technical theatre which we chose. We even learnt during tech how to control stage lightings for an upcoming dance show.

Tabitha: I understudied for a lot of girls during my time at Westover, it was really fun to see how they did drama lessons compared to Downe, the acting style in America is a lot different to the UK!

The school put on a dance concert the weekend after we arrived. Some seniors choreographed their own solo dances, and girls from all the age groups came together to perform a variety of different dances and styles. It was a very nice show to experience for our first weekend.


Ivie: My buddy Gazal had a lovely family. American houses typically have basements, which I had completely forgotten about until I realised her house had three levels. One of her dogs, Cocoa, was the sweetest and I had a really lovely experience with them.

Tabitha: Logan and her family were so nice to me. Their house was like something out of a film! They showed me around their local area, I went to target, Chipotle, Costco, and other American staples! The area was very suburban and very beautiful. On Easter my host family made me my own Easter basket with lots of treats in it, which was so kind!

Near the end of our trip, we got to take a day trip to New York. We went to several of the most famous locations around The Big Apple, and as the day progressed, we only fell in love with the city more. Our favourite areas were the World Trade Centre as it had the most beautiful views of New York. Just walking around New York was so surreal and amazing. Central Park was another highlight, it is so big! We ate at a restaurant which had great food, and the staff were so nice. It was a great experience, and we hope one day to have the pleasure of revisiting.

We’d really like to thank Mrs Adams and Ms Akhtar for making this such an enjoyable experience for us both, we have made memories and friends that will stay with us for the rest of our lives.

Ivie’s final thoughts:

I surprised myself with how easy I found it to introduce myself to people and make new acquaintances. I am also proud of myself for designing the lighting for a dance in the school’s concert and I performed in the chapel choir.

Tabitha’s final thoughts:

I feel more confident and independent!

Find out more about the Global Schools’ Exchange Programme here.

Tours & Open Mornings

The best way to find out more about Downe House is to experience it for yourself. Book a personal tour or join us at one of our Open Mornings, available throughout the year.

A flexible and modern approach – Full Boarding | Flexi Boarding | Day Pupil – what’s your Downe House journey?
Back to top