Blogs and News - St George's School For Girls, Edinburgh

06 Dec 2017
Going to University from St George’s

Megan CHINA 250wAfter leaving St George's in 2014, I began studying Chinese and Film Studies at The University of Hull, a choice my parents were not too keen on at first due to distance, but soon warmed to. One of the most exciting parts of my four year course so far has been my year abroad. Completing my first semester in Beijing, attending Beijing Language and Culture University, I have learnt more than I could have ever fathomed. As clichéd as it may sound, you do learn a lot about yourself, as well as the language and cultural differences when spending prolonged periods in another country. My first semester has been a roller-coaster, with classes from 8:30am until 12:30pm every weekday and having to adjust to food, climate, and culture shock, it has been quite the adventure!

When I say not much can prepare you for the transition from school to university, believe me when I say that the same stands even more so for studying in a different country. It was diving in at the deep end, and even with my previous experiences of China from my visit in 2011 as part of the Hanban/Confucius Institute Immersion Course, it was a lot to take in and digest. It is simple things from just how loud streets can be with people honking in traffic, to sales attendants following you around constantly when you go into a shop; it takes a lot of getting used to. Squat toilets were also an unpleasant shock, but each of these things has been crucial in gaining a better understanding of Chinese culture and people living in China. On top of that, all lessons are in Chinese. I’m never without my dictionary, since I regularly have to check vocabulary, so I can follow explanantions.

The best part about being in Beijing however, is being able to jump on the subway and travel around the ancient and cultural parts of the city. Beijing is not lacking in temples, museums, or historical sites. I have been to three separate parts of the Great Wall now, visited the famous Fragrance Mountain, and even went to cross the Tianyun Shan Glass Bridge in the outskirts of Beijing. I was also lucky enough to take a long weekend journey to Xi'An where I saw the Terracotta Warriors, climbed Mount Hua, and visited the HuKou Falls. Being able to travel around China with my friends has been the most amazing adventure, and I have loved taking photographs wherever I go. Next semester I hope to go to Inner Mongolia, and possibly Shanghai.

During all these adventures though, I must admit I have been quite homesick from time to time. Yes, even at the age of twenty you can still miss your parents! With the support of my family and friends, however, it has been made a much easier experience. It is natural to get homesick of course, especially as it was the first time I have spent Christmas away from family (the winter holiday for China is during Chinese New Year, not like European holiday times), and so not being too hard on myself for missing home has been something I have had to work on. 

Going to China has given me invaluable experiences and made me realise just how crucial a year abroad is, not only for language students, but for all students wishing to learn about and understand perspectives and philosophies from their own country as well as all around the world. Global citizenship is becoming more and more important as countries become more connected, and to become more understanding of those we share the world with is to create a more unified world.  Therefore, I would thoroughly recommend any student to take the opportunity if they can to spend time abroad and immerse themselves in the country's culture, as well as speaking with its people. It is an eye-opening experience, as well as a lot of hard work, but greatly enjoyable all the same.

I will go back to China at the end of February for another five months before the summer holiday, after which I will return to Hull for my final year before graduating. Then I wish to apply to Edinburgh College of Art to do a Film Directing Masters if all goes well, before moving on to the world of work. St George's now to me feels like a lifetime ago, but I know it was my time there, being taught by dedicated and enthusiastic teachers, that helped me get to where I am today. So, my final piece of advice for all St George's girls is to enjoy your time in school as best you can, and however tiring it may be, work as hard as you can, too. It will all be worth it in the end!

Megan Hammell
Old Girl & University of Hull, Third Year BA Chinese and Film Studies
  

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News Archive
2018

January

February

March

Welcome to students from Havergal College

Hockey News

Netball News

Football News

Fencing News

Book Fair in Lower School Library

Rugby at Murrayfield - Scotland v England

Sledging

Guide Dog Visit

RSPB Big Schools’ Birdwatch

Chinese Performance - Lasswade

Model United Nations Conference

Lower School Book of Excellence

Primary 6 Author Visit

Primary 5 Fringe Schools Poster Competition

Clothing Clear Out – Collection Extravaganza!

Remove History - Board Games

The Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships

Boarders' Ceilidh

The Edinburgh Brain Bee Competition

Under 13 Scottish Schools Lacrosse

Under 14 Scottish Schools Lacrosse

Under 15 Scottish Schools Lacrosse

Primary 7 Hockey Tournament

S1 East District Hockey Tournament

S2 East District Hockey Tournament

S3 East District Hockey Tournament

S3 East Cup Final

The Lower School Badminton Championships

Lower School Dance Showcase

Clothing Clear Out – Nursery Collection Extravaganza!

World Book Day

Spanish Play

The Edinburgh Piano Festival Competitions

Play in a Day Articles

A Visit by Hayley Valentine from BBC Question Time

Primary 5 Visit The Scottish Parliament

British Science Week

Primary One Visit the Zoo

500 Word Story

Primary 6 Skype Call to India

Primary 6 Power Investigations

Lower 4 Merchiston Social

The Play That Goes Wrong

Parents Play and Stay at Nursery Outdoor Learning

Revving up the Revision

Autumn Term Upper School Production

Edinburgh Primary Badminton Squad

Lothian League

Sport Relief

Euro Quiz 2018

LUSH at Houldsworth House

Making Scones at Houldsworth

Poetry Match-Making

Lower School Book of Excellence

Young Enterprise Scotland Programme

April

May

June

August

September

Equality for Women with Judy Murray and Judy Dalton: A Breakfast Conversation

Take A Closer Look - Open Mornings

Linlithgow Drinks Reception - Tuesday 25 September, 6.30-8.00 pm

Community and Staff Choir Rehearsals

Netball Success

Hockey

Swimming

Lower School Form Captains

Milkshake Making

A sleepover at Houldsworth

Xtreme Karting

Head Girls’ Conference

Return to Houldsworth

Starting at Houldsworth

Chocolate Fondue Party

Edinburgh Bus Tour

Decorating Houldsworth

Our First Week back in Junior School

Our First Week at Nursery

Primary 1 Build a Bear

Primary 5 House Captains and Vice Captains

An Exciting Year Ahead

Lower School Welcomes New Students

6th Form Debate

U6 Development Programme

6th Form Development Programme

Girls at St George’s School Bring Spitfire Restoration Back to School in Honour of Former Pupil ‘Spitfire’ Annie

Nicola Morgan Speaker Event

Presentation to 6th Form

Lower Six Social

Baking and Decorating Cupcakes

Royal Yacht Britannia Trip

Successful Renewal of our Eco Green Flag Award

Tours for the 1988 Old Girls

Hockey

Spa Evening

My Weekend at Houldsworth

The Buddy Break

The Primary 5 Girls visit The Royal Botanical Gardens

The Junior School Safety Officers

Roald Dahl Day

Primary 5 Trip to the Pentlands

Sing, Shine, Laugh and Sign

Big Owls’ Dance and Movement Class

The Royal Navy’s Visit

Choosing a University Course

Congratulations to Kary on Achieving Top Marks

International Committee

The Moyra Rushworth Trophy - Ski Race Competition

St George’s Nursery Receives Praise For Early Years Care

October

2017