At Shiplake College our international students have a truly immersive British school experience. We don’t recruit large numbers of international students, but this actually provides those international students that do attend, with what we feel is the best experience. We are fortunate that there is a wide range of nationalities represented from our overseas cohort, which helps ensure integration within the whole community. Our current international intake is sitting at 5% and we feel this offers those students the best outcomes.
Perched on the banks of the River Thames, Shiplake College is a former family home in the heart of the Oxfordshire countryside on a 45 acre site. Our international students get to experience a very British way of life. Pupils arriving from all nations and continents soon become fully integrated into Shiplake’s inclusive and welcoming environment.
Students enter a boarding house and have their cultures celebrated. We have fortnightly international evenings where one student in the house will prepare a traditional meal from their country in the house kitchen for all the students in their house to enjoy. They will present photos of their family members, their home and their country. This is then followed by question and answer session where other members of the house can enquire about their lives back home. These simple, intimate evenings promote tolerance and harmony between the different cultures in the house as pupils gain an understanding of their peers’ differing backgrounds.
We also celebrate different religious festivals and particular holidays through the whole school either through the food offering at mealtimes or discussions and celebrations in chapel and lessons.
We absolutely want our students to have a memorable ‘British’ experience and our international students are fully immersed in British life. We offer weekend trips to our local historic town, Henley-on-Thames, visits to the cinema to watch English language films, museums, theatre performances but also more authentic ‘British’ experiences like watching a football match at The Emirates Arsenal stadium and a London Irish club rugby match. Pupils of all faiths also attend our Church of England chapel services where students of whatever faith are accepted and everyone has a chance for reflection, thanks and contemplation.
Pupils also enjoy school trips to other parts of the UK, from field trips to Dorset and the Isle of Wight to expeditions in Scotland. Our international students often take part in the CCF, the British military programme and also the Duke of Edinburgh Award. International students partake in our extensive co-curricular programme which includes more typically British pursuits like darts, murder mystery club and ballroom dancing! We also have a volunteering club where pupils might help at the local care home or the local village fete.
We are extremely proud of what we are able to offer our international students and what they bring to life at Shiplake.