Wednesday, 23 September 2015

School in Scotland

Heyy guyss,
how are you doing? Here I'm really happy and I'm finally starting to have real friends to go out during the weekend.
But I'll talk about this in another post.
In this post I'm going to explain to you, future exchange students, the high school in Scotland.
So, let's start.
The high school in Scotland lasts six years but it starts when you are 12 (in Italy II media) and it ends when you are 18 (a year before italy).
In the first two years you have to follow all the subjects, like languages, English, Maths, sciences.
At the end of S2 you have to decide 8 subjects that you'll study for two years; at the end of S4 you'll sit the exams called National 5. Normally English and Maths are compulsory. So in S2 the pupils start to decide what they want to study at university, something more artsy, with languages or with sciences.
At the end of S4 you'll decide 5 subjects that you'll study during S5 (they have to be 5 of the eight studied during S4).
At the end of S5 you'll sit the exams (Highers).
And here starts the mess.
Normally the pupils decide to stay on another year and do some Advanced highers (useful for English universities) but some of them decide to go to university when they are 17: here in Scotland, dear readers, you can easily go to you university at that age! A few of them do that but normally the Scottish universities require Highers and not Advanced Highers.
I'm here since a month and I can say without any doubt that the scottish school is really different and for some aspects better.
The level of the 5 subjects that you study during S5 is really high (eg in Maths I'm doing things that in Italy I'll probably do during IV year of high school). Some of you can think "yeah but at the end of the school you won't have a complete cultural background but you'll only know a lot in some subjects"; that's really true but, as said before, you do the subjects that you took really really well.
The school here it's not only study: there are a lot of clubs and sports at school (I've only joined the theatre company (amazing)) but there is also the choir, the string orchestra, the orchestra, climbing club, hockey club and a lot of other things.
I have to do two compulsory hours of PE (I play badminton and you don't get a mark) and three of Personal Support (sometimes we do our homework, sometimes we talk about our future,... Sometimes it's useful and sometimes not).
To be accepted by universities you don't have just to be good at school (like in Italy) but you also have to do some extracurricular activities (like sport, work, clubs, or be a prefect, people that try to maintain the school order ). I really like this point of view because the youth is pushed to work and try a lot of different things.
And for now it's everything.

P.S.: At the moment I'm on a train (full of people in fancy dresses) to Edinburgh because I'm going to the open days of EDINBURGH UNIVERSITY!

Saturday, 5 September 2015

21 days here: school, friends and I'm happy

Heyyy guyss.
Sorry for the absence but here I'm always busy, I have to do a lot of things (and study a lot...).
Fortunately I've found some time to talk to you about my life in Scotland.
The school is amazing: the level is really difficult (like Physics omg) and at the end my subjects are Geography, Maths, Physics, English and French (all Highers). At the end of the year I'll sit the exams and they'll be (maybe) useful for my future.
I've already some friends: I know it seems impossible because all the people say "In UK they are really cold, you need only a year to start speaking to them!" but, I don't know if it's only my school (I don't think so), the people come to speak to me.
I can't really say that they are my friends but, you know, for now I have a lot acquaintances.

Finally my Scottish sister arrived and I can't be happier than this! She's perfect and she always makes me laugh (and she enjoyed my gift).
For the moment I have a really good relationship with all the members of my host family (and no, dear readers, they don't host for money, if you like UK but you're not really sure about the fact that families are paid, go and these doubts will disappear!).

I'm here since 3 weeks and only now I can really feel that my English is starting to improve: at school I understand everything and my speaking skills are getting better everyday! I've already learnt a lot of new words  ;). Sometimes I think in English and sometimes in Italian and the result is a headache at the end of every day.

Every week I have a skype call with my family and for now, luckily, I'm not homesick; I hope I won't be homesick but I think that that moment will arrive also for me.
I'm starting to see and understand how much I'm important for my Italian friends/family and I couldn't be happier: this experience is also helping me to understand who cares about me.

Dear future exchange student, you'll have a busy life abroad.

Bye for now, I have to study Physics for a test :(.
(On Monday I'll start the drama club yayy, they told me that a lot of people go there and it'll be a good chance to make more friends).
(If you have any doubt or some ideas for future posts feel free to ask!)

Random facts:
1. They asked me if I speak Italian.
2. They don't really understand why I'm here.
3. I had a French test and it was about the PRESENT (fortunately it was only a review)
4. My Geography teacher asked me if in Italy I go to an international school
5. Here it's strange that you speak a second language really well fans everybody is astonished of my English ahaja.
6. In the bathroom the sink has two faucets (one for hot and one for cold water, lukewarm water doesn't exist).