We are delighted to publish the fascinating photos and the wonderful essay produced by one of this year’s HMC Projects scholars from Ukraine, sharing her firsthand impressions and genuine insights of the journey to Great Britain and her school in Scotland.
My first impressions of the life in Dollar Academy
From the moment I was offered a scholarship at Dollar Academy, I already knew that my life was going to change completely in the nearest future. I was asking myself a question: ‘How would it be, life in a boarding school?’ Now, two weeks since my whole world turned upside down, I think I have an answer.
And the answer is: it’s the best experience I could ever wish for. Of course, it requires lots of efforts: leaving your family and friends, packing all the stuff you have in your room into only 23 kilos you’re allowed to have in your suitcase, trying not to lose yourself and your documents at the airport… But this big adventure of yours is absolutely worth it because it’s the first step you take into the adult life.
My story starts on the plane, heading to the airport of Edinburgh. I’ve never seen such breathtaking landscapes before, even though I have travelled a lot. This pure, virgin beauty of Scottish Highlands made me realize that it’s time to give a birth to a new and definitely a very thrilling chapter of my life. ‘I’m ready, I told myself, and I’m capable of everything.’ There I was, accepting the biggest and the best challenge I’ve ever been given.
First of all, as cliché as it sounds, it’s all about meeting new people. So far, it has been the best part of my life in Scotland because it’s the people who make the place, and that’s what I found in Dollar Academy. Starting from my house parents, who are one of the kindest and most supportive people I’ve ever had a pleasure to meet, to my teachers, who are in love with their subject and who are ready to share this love with all the students. Thanks to them, studying has become a pleasure for me and even Mondays do not scare me anymore.
Secondly, it’s about experiencing unfamiliar things you’ve never done before: doing your tie, reading Shakespeare’s “Othello” in the original, auditioning for the school play, singing hymns in the assembly. And, believe me or not, you may find a lot of fun doing this.
Life in a boarding school is something that you cannot prepare yourself for, but once you’ve tried, it will be difficult to abandon it. In this short period of time I have already made many good friends from different parts of the world, designed my own pizza menu for my graphic communication class, strolled around the picturesque city of Edinburgh and fulfilled my dream to make an art project. And I know that it’s only the very beginning. Much more is waiting for me, and I’m looking forward to facing it.
HMC Projects Scholar from Ukraine (2018),
Dollar Academy, Scotland, UK