After the graduation, our students travel to different sides of the world; but we are all WESer so we don’t forget each other when we leave, and we will meet again. Helen Li returned to school to meet old friends and share her experiences.
In April, when British Universities have their spring break, we invited Helen the first WESer President, to come home to visit her school family, to return to the school to share her experiences with her schoolmates. In order to satisfy the strong curiosity of the schoolmates, Helen specially commissioned the current WESer’s team to collect the questions and advice that our current students’ most wanted to hear before the sharing meeting, and as always Helen was well prepared in advance. The sharing meeting was arranged at 4 pm on April 16th. The students of WES Academy could not wait to come to the conference room after class. After a while, the venue was packed, and the sharing meeting not only attracted the students of the international high school, but also the seventh and eighth grades, primary and secondary schoolchildren.
Helen’s session was confident and as well thought out as ever. Although it had only been more than seven months since she entered the university, we could clearly feel the growth and transformation of Helen during this period. Helen’s sharing begins with a picture of her day life, you immediately get sense of a person who has grown and blossomed in her new environment, and the essence of a girl who is working hard in the surroundings of Portland stone buildings, parks and boulevards.
Helen described herself as a very “Boring” girl. She got up early every day, but there was a very beautiful park near the school. So she couldn’t resist running around the park before having breakfast at starting lectures. She would attend class and lectures from 9am until 5 or 6pm. After dinner, she would study at the library downstairs. After she finished studying, she would go back to the dormitory to rest. The university had 6 classes per week, 2 hours per class, and most of the rest was self-study. The class was mainly composed of lectures of two or three hundred people. There would also be three instructor classes for 10 people a week to help students learn better.
Helen also stressed that reading was very important! Reading was usually divided into Key Reading and Supplementary Reading or Further Reading. Each class had a lot of books to read, most of the time spent on reading, and the homework was mainly done in the form of essays!
Helen 还强调说：阅读非常重要！阅读通常分为关键阅读(Key Reading)和拓展阅读( Supplementary Reading or Further Reading)。每门课都有许多书要阅读，大多数学习时间都花在阅读上，作业主要是以Essay（小论文）的形式完成。
Except sharing the university’s studies, Helen also introduced to the schoolmates’ tips on life in the UK, such as dorms, diet, common apps, etc. In the UK most students travel by train or bus to the surrounding cities to sightsee. Time could also be spent watching the football at the bar which was a common social way for college students, but Helen who just wanted to study hard had not experienced them yet. These were closely related to the future study abroad life, and the schoolmates were eager to listen.
The question and answer sessions was the climax of the whole sharing meeting, because it was the most interesting part of the sharing session for our students, and there was a wonderful mix of questions. For example: What was the biggest problem in learning? How should the study time be allocated? Was it important to participate in various school activities? Would I lose hair in the UK? Was there a lot of handsome guys in Britain? Could you talk with them? And so on. This made the atmosphere of the entire sharing meeting easy and enjoyable.
In the end, Helen shared with the schoolmates what kind of preparations should be made before going to the UK to study. For example, it was important to choose a major in advance. You could communicate and discuss with your teachers and parents. You could go to the university website to pre-study according to Key Reading before starting school. You could learn to write Essay skills in advance.
Helen is currently studying at Cardiff Business School in the UK (Cardiff University Business School is ranked 6th in the UK and is in the world’s top 100 business school). Helen was in a public school before High School. She was in the first graduating high school class of WES Academy. We can still remember that she shared at the graduation ceremony that the first year she entered the school, facing a thick English textbook. She was overwhelmed. A textbook may take a long time to read. The mathematics paper was also the most distressing. It was extremely simple to translate into Chinese, but it was very incomprehensible because she couldn’t guess the meaning of the English words.
The three-year study of WES Academy program was no easier than that of public high school students. In order to better grasp the learning content, Helen had developed a good study habit of pre-study and after-school review. The English-language teaching environment made her English level advanced by leaps and bounds. Under the student-centered teaching mode of WES Academy, she had cultivated her good self-learning and time management skills, and the different community activities of school helped foster her good organizational skills.
With three year studies at WES Academy, she was fully prepared for her entry into the university, and she was able to make excellent progress in her studies at university.
True international education is not as easy option and you cannot escape your studies, but it will take you to a new world which is rich, diverse and exciting. So with a CWA education you can reach any place in the world. Entering university is not the end, but the beginning of a more enriching life.
Helen’s example should full us with confidence in the future of every WESer, because we firmly believe that we continue to learn, grow and cultivate the common mission of lifelong learners with international vision. May every WESer’s tomorrow be full of miracles and amazing experiences!