“So sad to leave, but glad to be coming back”
Nigeria’s Asma’u Gogo Aremu, a school Ambassador, will start her second year of the IB program at EF Academy Oxford in September. Read more to learn about what she thought of her first year at EF Academy and why she’s looking forward to what’s to come:
I was cold and nervous, my first day had come and it was time for me to begin a new life. On the 7th of September, 2015, my cousin woke me up in the morning to get ready to walk to school. I had never walked to school so early before so on that first morning I was already experiencing new things. It was a 30-minute walk and we weren’t too sure of what part of the school we needed to enter. We asked around and we found our way to the reception desk of Cotuit Hall. We couldn’t have received a better welcome that day. My cousin left and it was just me. I was introduced to my guidance counselor, Philip Randall, and he showed me around the school and handed me over to my tutor for the year, Ray Mavenga. On that same day, I also went on my first school trip – we went to Blenheim Palace. The trip was set up for the new students to get to know each other better. It was a great new experience for me, I made new friends that day and after the trip I didn’t feel so nervous anymore.
Two weeks into school, I had selected the subjects that I would take for the next two years at EF Academy Oxford. I am currently following the IB Diploma program and I take biology, chemistry, English literature, economics, mathematics and Spanish. All of the subjects are familiar to me but every topic we went through in my first year was more in depth than what I had experienced in the past. Over time, school became a place that I was looking forward to being at every day. It wasn’t just about the classes we took, but also the activities we did. IB students are required to complete a CAS (Creativity, Action and Service) component and the activities, I look forward to most, are part of this class. I enjoy the assemblies students were asked to hold. I held one or two as well and they helped me develop confidence.
I appreciate the teachers as well. They are really patient and open-minded. This makes it easy for me to get my work done and understand whatever I learn in class. There were times when I had disagreements with some teachers, but who hasn’t? The most important thing is that the teachers are willing to learn from their students and they never regard anyone as a failure. They support each of us in class and that’s one thing I will forever carry with me in life: all fingers are not equal yet our hands carry them all.
My experience outside the walls of EF Academy Oxford must be mentioned as well. Before I go too far into describing what I do beyond Pullens Lane, I have to admit that I’m not very good at having fun and I had to learn from my friends. I spent a lot of my time shopping and going to the movies. I loved shopping so much that I had to limit how often I went to the city center. I helped friends celebrate their birthdays and they celebrated mine when it came around. My favorite outings are when I go to watch a play in the evening and end the night eating ice cream with my friends. I wish I could tell you about London but I rarely go there, it is too busy for me. Like I said, I’m not usually good at having fun and I’m not the best person to ask about the fun activities around school, but as part of such a great international school I know many people who I could refer you too.
I had a great year and I would be able to write pages and pages about my first year at EF Academy Oxford, but I have a word count limit for this post. I was sad when it was time to leave and I was going to miss my friends. You know how it is when you’re just getting to know people, you want to spend much more time with them. Well, I will be back again in September and though I am honestly not looking forward to the weather (that’s something I can never stop complaining about – it’s just so different from the weather in Nigeria!), I am looking forward to serving as an Ambassador of EF Academy Oxford. I’ll be back soon – with lots of coats in my suitcase – to make new friends, to try and make new students comfortable, to refer them to someone else to have fun and, of course, to leave a positive mark on EF Academy Oxford. I’m happy to be going back.
Students at our international boarding schools make life-long friends, experience the culture of their host country and find their passion in the sports, clubs and activities that inspire them most. Our student life program is powered by their engagement and school spirit.