Clarissa On

  • My name is Clarissa On and I am half Singaporean, half Malaysian and I was studying in an International School in Malaysia before I came to Stowe.
  • I joined West House in the Lower Sixth in September 2019 and the reason I chose to join Stowe was because of my first impression of the breath-taking landscape gardens and facilities.
  • It is my first time boarding at School and honestly, I was terrified. I missed my parents and being at home (especially not sticking to a fixed schedule) but had to find a routine during my first few weeks at Stowe. My Houseparents were extremely welcoming and so were my peers, not only the Lower Sixth but Upper Sixth too.
  • It is quite fair to say that I have made progress during my time at Stowe – I picked up rowing as an activity and am currently in the Stowe Sculling Squad. Additionally, I continued my dance lessons here and was due to do a performance for this year’s (2020) Speech day. Lastly, I started the activity of visiting the elderly and I am extremely enjoying the time spent with them. My subjects are economics, maths, history and an EPQ and I am really enjoying the courses.
  • I extremely enjoy the atmosphere of the boarding house due to it feeling like a large family. Honestly, on some days I struggle with homesickness (especially with the time difference that makes it difficult to contact home) but a call with my parents remind me that I may miss them but life in Stowe is extremely fulfilling.
  • Overall, boarding at Stowe School has been very exhausting (due to so many things going on all the time!) but it has been extremely exciting and fun.

Maximilian Stevens

  • I am a New Zealand citizen and spent the first 14 years of my life in New Zealand. I came to the UK in August 2018 to join Stowe as my Father believed the education available was better.
  • I spent two weeks in the United Kingdom before coming to Stowe to prepare for Boarding school. The first term was really hard. I had extreme homesickness and didn’t have a big group of friends, most of which were not in the same House. In the end, I even spoke to my Houseparent and contemplated leaving Stowe.
  • However, there was a light in the darkness, I put my mind into my work and joined many activities. These activities were Chess and Climbing. I already had a passion for Chess, but I developed a new one for climbing. At these activities I had something to take my mind of home and I made lots of friends.
  • The Summer Term was when I had a large group of friends. Now we hang out together all the time, most of them are other internationals and we all found out we all had the same problems in the first year. Life at Stowe now is great, I have great friends and I am very involved in after school extracurricular activities.
  • I am glad I stayed at Stowe as I also believe it added character to my personality. Also, always take advice from the upper years it works; they’ve been through what you will and know how to deal with it. Many Seniors helped me overcome my homesickness (even the Head Boy) and their advice worked. This is a good way to describe it, endure the Michaelmas Term, find your feet in the Lent Term, enjoy the Summer Term.

Anastasia Fischer

  • When I first came to Stowe, I was shocked by the beautiful views and exquisite houses; however, I was very intimated by the thought of living far away from home.
  • Due to Covid-19, I was aware that I had to stay in quarantine with a bunch of other people for two weeks and the thought of leaving my family early was hard to accept. When I arrived, everything was very new and I needed several days to get used to it. I was little stressed about starting school and getting to know people.
  • Nevertheless, I became friends with great students in quarantine, who explained how things work and helped me calm down a little. Even though quarantine had strict rules, my friends and I still had a lot of fun. I am grateful that I came two weeks earlier, because now I feel as if I have been in this School forever!

Mark Babiner

  • My life as a pupil of Stowe School has only just started, so I can’t give much detail about studying here. However, I can give information about my first few days at Stowe. Due to Covid-19, I had to quarantine upon arrival at the UK. Luckily the School provided facilities to do this. I arrived late at night, and had not slept very much. The fire drill in the morning certainly rose me from my bed on the first morning though! Gladly, the rest of the day was much better. I met lots of people and immediately made some new friends. Most of these were among non Russian speaking pupils, which was very new for me.
  • In the evening, I was introduced to my roommate - Daniel. The School had put us in the same room for our quarantine, as we will both be moving into Cobham House and will be in the same tutor group. This was great as allowed me to make friends within my house from the very beginning. Although quarantine was repetitive and involved spending lots of time in my room, I did enjoy walking around the grounds each day. I also spent lots of time on my own interests - comic books and films. Once quarantine had ended, I moved into my boarding house for my time at Stowe, and although I’m struggling to orientate myself around the School, I am sure I will soon learn the site! I hope my time at Stowe will be very productive and successful.

Gloria Sun

  • I have only been at Stowe for 2 weeks, and have had to spend my initial time here in quarantine due to travel limitations imposed by the pandemic. However, during quarantine, I found that we were given lots of different activities to keep us busy.
  • This let us develop some good habits of staying productive. Also, teachers and classmates are very friendly, which has helped us to enhance relationships with each other. I have already made many friends here and found that teachers are very patient.
  • I was very moved when my roommate received some very bad news from home, and was very well cared for and supported by the members of staff at school. I’ve also really enjoyed the food here, especially being able to have such healthy meals. It has been a great start to my time at Stowe.

Xinyu Ma

  • I arrived in the UK late August and had to quarantine due to travel restrictions. Quarantine can be quite tedious actually - being locked up in your own bedroom, repeating the same routine for 2 weeks, having nothing to do except for anticipating the end of the quarantine.
  • However, my quarantine experience at Stowe has been made memorable by the staff. We had many walks and different activities were arranged, and I got to know more people before the school starts. The activities really made my days in quarantine more enjoyable. It also allowed me to get to know people and feel more confident when the term starts.
  • Before I arrived I was worried about EVERYTHING - worried that I won’t be able to take care of all my luggage, worried that I might get lost at the airport, worried that I’d get homesick, etc. However, I found all the staff here so supportive and any issues I did face were quickly solved, and all my questions clearly answered. I really am looking forward to my two years as a Stoic, as I already feel like this place is like home. 

Wednesday Zhu

  • To one that doesn’t really enjoy time outdoors, having to quarantine when I arrived in the UK was a grace period. It gave me breathing space before I fully got into school life. People always tell me to ‘go and have a walk’, ‘go out with your friends, ‘go have an adventure’. There were too many ‘gos’. I have always preferred the sunshine through the window to the fresh air outside. I preferred the moonlight in my dreams to the frost on the lawn.
  • Quarantine at school forced people to stay indoors and maintain distance from others. This was my normal life anyway. It is often said that humans find themselves falling in love with something after they have lost it. The truth is that when I could only touch the sunlight through the window on my bedroom floor, I was met with a despondent mood. I still enjoyed my time in quarantine, and am very grateful for the activities Stowe staff ran for us. However, it reminded me that I have perhaps ignored the beauty outside the windows for too long. The goddess of nature is in front of me singing, but I have been covering my ears. Fortunately it is not too late to change, and I am lucky that despite Covid-19, I am now in the beautiful location of Stowe.
  • I can now begin to fully appreciate the beauty of nature. Before I arrived in the UK, I was very anxious that I may not fit in, or that I would feel homesick. However, the worry soon dissipated. Although the British weather is much colder than I am used to, I have now settled well into my new school and feel it is a safe and warm place to be living. I have found that I do not need to worry about whether my English is good enough to be understood. I have learnt that I will fit into this community and way of study, due to the supportive staff here.