Boarding Life: Familiarise Ourselves with Unfamiliarity

How new boarders assimilate into the new learning and living environment


New boarders in front of the boarding house

Smooth music was in the wind while students were making strides to the senior campus on the first day of school. This year the school welcomed a group of new staff and students to join the large Georgian community. 35 students from different nations have started their new boarding life and new school year with both enjoyments and challenges await.

As a matter of fact, there exists a residence named Harker Hall at the rear of the Junior School. Last week, boarders moved in and settled down as new members of St. George’s School and the boarding house. Some of them traversed through oceans for thousands of kilometres to this city without the slightest knowledge of the local lifestyle; thus stress is developed within them. “I think our new students feel a mixture of feelings when they arrive at Harker Hall… excitement, anticipation, some apprehension, and probably unsure, to some extent, what to expect,” said Mr. Reto Camenzind, the Head of Admissions of the Senior School, who was once a boarding student in Harker Hall.

In response, Harker Hall has provided students with a plethora of extracurricular activities during weekends to counterbalance the negative sentiments that students may have when they are far away from home. A day after their arrival, student leaders accompanied them to explore Downtown Vancouver by means of a scavenger hunt to show newcomers how the city functions and reveal the different facets of it.

Wild deer on Anvil Island are chewing grasses
Wild deer on Anvil Island are chewing grasses

Last weekend, all boarders headed toward Anvil Island, located north of Vancouver, for a three-day camp. Students took a boat ride from the coast and found themselves in an unpolluted bucolic territory. Wild deer were lingering in the vicinity chewing grasses. Students participated in sports and games, and simultaneously blended themselves in the nature and in the boarding life. “Of course you’ll miss home on the first few days… but once you make friends… get involved in the school community, you’ll stop missing home,” said Didier Traile, a new boarder from Jamaica currently in Grade 11.