International Understanding at Alton Convent

Valeria and Susana from Colegio Buen Consejo in Colombia

International understanding is fundamental to the ethos at Alton Convent School and is creatively embedded within the teaching, across the curriculum both within the classroom and beyond.

Alton Convent School’s global character extends to the Sixth Form Centre, where two German students Sandra and Julide from Albert-Einstein-Gymnasium in Hamelin were recently welcomed as part of the International Student Programme. They benefited from the outstanding educational experience and work placement opportunities on offer. The sixth form is now host to Valeria and Susana from Alton Convent School’s sister school in Colombia.

Valeria from Colombia commented ‘One of our main reasons to come was our desire to improve our English skills in order to have better career opportunities in the professional world. We are also interested in getting a different perspective on our own society having another culture to compare it with.

We are impressed with the way people have been treating us, making us feel at home although we are thousands of miles away from our families in Colombia.’

In addition to their studies Valeria and Susana are running a club in the Prep School this term which includes traditional dance, music, food, craft and Spanish.

The school’s International Student Programme is a six or twelve month language and academic study plan. Pupils apply from partner schools during their last year of secondary education (equivalent to Year 11 in the UK). A personal study plan is prepared for each participant to support their intended university level education, both in terms of English language skills and broader academic pursuits.

In line with the Alton Convent’s status as an international school a plethora of experiences are available for sixth formers including the opportunity to participate in an EU conference in Paris, Amsterdam or the UN in New York, with time to visit museums, art galleries and other attractions. There is a bi-annual expedition to India, where students undertake charity work and teaching as well as a number of cultural experiences. Sixth formers also have the unique privilege of joining an annual pilgrimage to Lourdes in support of HCPT, a charity working with disabled and disadvantaged people from around the UK. The event is undertaken in conjunction with Salesian and Winchester Colleges. These trips provide incredible opportunities for learning, developing confidence and expanding horizons.

A global mentoring programme is also offered to students through the New York Academy of Sciences 1000 Girls 1000 Futures initiative. Headmaster Mr Graham Maher commented,

‘An international flavour permeates life at Alton Convent School across the curriculum. We are proud of our interwoven programme of activities which prepare our students to be rounded, successful global citizens of the 21st century.’