My name is Jane Chen, a fifteen-year-old girl currently studying in tenth grade at Shanghai High School International Division. I was fascinated by the environment and cultures of the UK and was determined to pursue further studies there in the near future.
我是Jane Chen, 今年15岁，目前就读于上海中学国际部10年级。我对英国的环境和文化非常感兴趣，因此我决定在不久的将来去英国上学。
With that goal in mind, I got help from my parents, my aunt and uncle, Frank from UKBS, and Ms. Sarah Munden to choose and apply for five schools in the UK.
Starting from October 8th, I embarked on my journey to visit the five schools I applied for along with my mother, uncle, and Ms. Sarah Munden, and on October 11th, we arrived at Shrewsbury School. Shrewsbury School is located in Shropshire, a beautiful town near Birmingham. We settled down in a cosy hotel near Shrewsbury School a day before and drove into the campus the next day.
We were greeted with a warm welcome by the teachers at the Admissions Office, and after a short chat, we visited Mary Sidney Hall, one of the dormitories at Shrewsbury. From our short chat with Ms. Wyatt, the house mistress of Mary Sidney Hall, I can really feel that she treats every student like her family and cares for every one of them. We were then shown around the campus by two fifth form girls, and they introduced us to the Science Centre, Art Centre, Sports areas, and a lot more areas.
招生办公室的老师们热情地欢迎了我们，简单的交谈过后，我们前往参观什鲁斯伯里女生宿舍之一——Mary Sidney Hall。通过和舍监Wyatt女士的简短交流，我实实在在地体会到了，她如同对待家人般照顾宿舍中的每一位学生。接着，由两位11年级的学生带领我们参观校园，她们向我介绍了科学中心、艺术中心、运动场地和许多不同用途的场地。
Along the way, the two girls also shared with us their feelings about studying at Shrewsbury and daily lives on campus. Before our chat with Mr. Matthew from the Admissions Office, I met Mr. Giles Bell, whom I had met during my interview before the Shrewsbury Night Activity held in Shanghai.
一路上，她们跟我们分享了在什鲁斯伯里上学的感受，以及每天的校园生活。在和招生办公室的Matthew交谈之前，我和Giles Bell先生碰了面，之前在上海什鲁斯伯里之夜前的面试中，我已经遇到过Giles Bell先生。
Many might ask, what is the goal of spending so much time and effort travelling to the UK just to pay a visit to each school?
Why not just inform yourself through the schools’ official websites?
Actually, I have had similar questions in my mind when I first embarked on my journey of visiting the schools I applied for. However, after the visits, I knew the answer. No matter if one has done a lot of researches and knew about the schools or not, no information can be more reliable than those acquired when one actually goes to the schools and see what it is like, what interests them the most, and whether the schools suit him or her well.
When I first made a research on Shrewsbury School, all I knew was that the school was one of the Origin Nine and the school Charles Darwin went to; however, after I actually went to Shrewsbury School, I saw its Science and Art centres, dormitories, talked to the teachers there, and even got to meet and talk to two students who once studied in China. These experiences helped me to gain further knowledge about the school beyond the information given on the internet.
As for those who are planning to apply for high schools in the UK in the future, my suggestions will be firstly consider the subjects you might want to study in the future in order to choose the schools to apply for wisely, as each school has its unique strengths. Moreover, you should carry out a research on each school and gain a general understanding of the specialties of each school, and a visit to each school will definitely help deepen your understanding of the schools and help you to form a preference towards some of the schools.
In my opinion, one of the most important parts of the application process is the interview section, since this is the best time for the admissions teacher to know you, and also the best time for you to know what the school want to see in you (E.g. academic skills, English-speaking skills, confidence, talents, etc.).
Last but not least, the entrance exams plays a similarly vital role in your application process, and from my experience, if you have not taken GCSE courses before, one of the best ways to review for the exams is to practice some GCSE questions that are similar to the ones on the entrance papers. By doing so, you can both prepare to perform a better job on these exams and also to familiarise yourself with the topics that the GCSE students in the UK are exploring.
Overall, my journey to the UK to visit the schools for which I applied plays a vital role in my process of deciding which schools I want to go to later on; moreover, I really felt the warm and welcoming attitude from Shrewsbury as I applied and visited this magnificent school, and I will always remember and thank the teachers who have given me support and encouragement along my application journey.
Last of all, wish you all the best luck on your journey towards your dream school!
祝贺Jane在2019年申请中，已经收到Oundle School、Shrewsbury School、CLC（Cheltenham Ladies’ College）、Woldingham School四所学校2020年12年级录取！