Boarding Life from a Student’s Perspective

Hi everyone! My name is An Qi Chen, also known as Angela. I am from Shanghai, China and I am currently studying an IB Diploma Programme at AMADEUS International School Vienna. This is my fourth and final year at this school, and before I graduate, I would like to share my personal thoughts about being an AMADEUS boarding student with you.

Boarding at AMADEUS is like a second home

I have been living in boarding at AMADEUS since I was 14 years old. When I arrived, I was ignorant and came overseas alone, but now I am able to help new classmates and friends to understand the system of boarding and IB. It is no exaggeration to say that boarding is literally a second home for me.

Over the past few years, the boarding experience has helped me gain a lot of growth and strength. In this environment, I have become more independent, and my self-care ability has also increased a lot. For example, I have learned how to wash clothes by myself, tidy up my closet and desk, study every day, and cook occasionally. I am sure that these new skills will bring a lot of help and I will benefit from them in my life after AMADEUS too.

A typical day in boarding

I would say that every day in boarding is very fulfilling.

We start class at 8:00 in the morning every day. Both boys’ boarding and girls’ boarding sections are connected to the teaching building, so it is very convenient to go to school every day. Also, we do not have to worry about being late for class because our boarding parents will make sure to get us out of the door in time! Currently, the teacher also takes the temperature of all students before they leave for class.

After school, the boarding staff will prepare snacks and we have free time to leave the campus or just stay in the room to rest. At 17:30 it is time for study hall for the boarding students. The upper grades (11-12) can study in their own room, while the lower grades (6-10) need to go to the library to study.

Dinner is also very abundant, with meat, vegetables, salad bar, dessert, and fruit. Because of the epidemic, we now eat dinner in different groups according to grades. Each grade also has a different light-off time at night, and lower grades need to hand in their phones to ensure their sleep quality.

Starting from 2021, all boarding students will move to a new fully-renovated house which will have even better facilities to ensure the quality and living standards of students! You can scroll through the artist’s impressions of the future boarding house to the right.

Study Hall and language support is an advantage

As a boarding student at AMADEUS, you get a lot of support from boarding parents and from teachers, both personally and academically. I think the previously mentioned study hall is very necessary and essential for us students, especially because we are able to receive help from different teachers every day. This means that we do not need to find a tutor outside of class to receive extra help with our homework. Even though I am in grade 12 and are allowed to do homework in my room, I still often go to the library during study hall because this environment helps me complete my work more efficiently.

Before I entered this school, my English level was not very high, probably at the level of junior high school students in China. When I came to AMADEUS, every teacher helped me to improve my English. To be able to keep up with the courses and progress from the very beginning, I entered a programme called EAL, which stands for English as an Additional Language. The teacher there will not only help you understand the English language slowly but also provide additional help for other school subjects. Additionally, by living in an English environment where the boarding staff communicates with us in English, my level of language was fast and greatly improved during my daily life too.

Beyond school: Music, activities, and friendships for life

When I do not spend time on my homework, I often practice music. Until grade 12 I was a member of AMADEUS Music & Arts Academy, which is an integral part of the school. I attended piano and flute lessons for several years, which enriched my spare time. After studying, I could go to the piano room right upstairs to practice, which was a very good and relaxing time for me.

During the weekends, there are always activities planned that you can sign up for. Together with the boarding parents, we make a monthly plan of what we want to do and where we want to go. Examples are museums, concerts, paddle boarding, and much more. Sometimes we even go on weekend trips. The nature right outside campus is amazing for walks, and the city centre is only a short tram ride away from the school – so there are plenty of fun things to spend your weekends on.

Generally speaking, I am very happy every day in boarding. If we worry about our studies, there is always someone to support us, listen to us talk about our confusion or troubles, and help us solve our problems. It is like having an extra family, and I have developed new friendships for life.

If you are interested in international education and boarding, I can only recommend you to come to AMADEUS! You will not regret it.

Click here to learn more about boarding at AMADEUS Vienna.

By the way: I also wrote this article in Chinese! You can find it on the school’s WeChat profile: amadeus_vienna

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If boarding schools had stars, this one would have 5! Scroll through the artist’s impressions of the new boarding house which will open in 2021:

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2. You have access to additional support tutorials.

3. You have structured study periods with visiting subject teachers.

4. You have a group of friends with the same goals as you.

5. You get to go home on the weekend to see your family.

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