Before my children were born, I was always telling myself that when the right time came, I wanted them to receive their education in the UK. It is clear to me now that one cannot know what the ‘right’ age is without experiencing the feeling of motherhood a little bit. As I always say, you’ve got to live and learn a little!
Having said that, there were some things that helped me make decisions regarding my children’s education.
Firstly, I remember being a student in Turkey and complaining that the education system was wholly dependent on memorisation. All anyone was concerned with at the end of the day was the grade you received. And in order to get a good grade, one had to learn to be a memory bank! This did not sit right with me. It was imperative to me that my children received a more well-rounded education. So, I promised myself that my children would continue their education in the UK.
Perhaps what most attracted me to the UK in particular was the ‘narrowing’ education system. This means that around the ages of 14-15, the number of subjects students take decreases over the years. By the time the student is 16, they have the option to choose 3 to 4 subjects. In this way, the student has the freedom to shape their education to fit their specific interests and talents! Indeed, this stems from the fact that the UK education system recognises that not every student can be good at everything. Where one student has particular strengths in numerical work, another student is good with words.
Another focal point for me was the accepting and inclusive educational environment in the UK. It is important to me, as I’m sure it is important to any parent, that my children be free to share their ideas comfortably, in order to grow up to be confident, creative and independent young adults.
Furthermore, in this increasingly globalised world we live in, it is very important for students to have good command of one foreign language at least. English is one of the most widely used languages in the world so it seemed to me a real strength that my children would be able to speak English fluently and eloquently. Due to this, and to the reasons I mentioned above (and many more!) I was incredibly confident that the UK was the right choice for me and my children.
As I highly approve of the UK education system, I help other international families and students transfer to British schools and universities. I have been closely monitoring their journey from the day they stepped into the British education system, and I have witnessed how happy and successful they have become.
I asked some of my students why they chose the UK:
Having studied in a country where the education system is as fair as it can be, I have learned how to specialise and improve on the subject that I find interesting. Studying in an international school has a huge impact on the process of developing my unique international perspective. Besides my academic development, I also spend time on extracurricular activities that help me to develop my character and learn how to socialise with other people. Therefore, it is a fantastic opportunity for me to be a student in the UK for my future goals.
Lancing College student – 3 years in British education.
I have been studying in the British education system for more than three years and I absolutely love it. I learned how to use my time efficiently and had a freedom to choose what to study. I am good with numbers and the system gave me a chance to study what I like.
Bedales student – 4 years in British education.
I just started my A Levels at a British school. I have chosen Business, Economics and Art. For the first couple of months, I struggled a bit. But my teachers were very supportive and there was so much help for me to do better. I can see that my grades are going up and I am getting more confident each day. I strongly believe that being a student in the UK is a fantastic opportunity to achieve my future goals.
Hurtwood House student.
I had quite a hard time choosing whether to study in the UK or US for university. I am glad I have chosen the UK as I have a chance to study and specialize only in Psychology , which is my passion.
Queen Mary, University of London student.
Blog by Nihan Alyanak
Director for Turkish Families at Bonas MacFarlane