Tiantian – Adapted to the new learning environment and won Headmaster’s scholarship


Tiantian had just completed year 3 of junior high school when she arrived in Britain for year 9.

Coming to Britain was the first overseas experience for Tiantian. Understandably, it was overwhelming and very stressful for her. She suffered from being away from her parents and felt quite homesick. We were told she couldn’t even understand a word in her lessons. Tiantian would be in tears every time the WSE consultant called to check if she was OK.

WSE Solution: Adjusting social strategy

We usually encourage international students to make friends with home students so that they can immerse themselves into the language environment. In Tiantian’s case, we did the complete opposite. We asked her to make friends with Chinese speaking girls. With their help, Tiantian got used to the routine in school and managed to get around by herself. She also received academic support by asking the girls for assistance when she did not understand what was being taught in class. We also advised that Tiantian should use an English – Chinese dictionary so that she could look up a term or a word that she wasn’t familiar with. After the lesson, she could add the new words to her vocabulary glossary.

Three months later when our WES consultant went to her school for parents’ evening, Tiantian looked like a different person – a lively and confident student. In hindsight, without the ‘Chinese speaking’ friendships she was encouraged to establish, she could not have settled down so quickly. She then expanded her friend circle to English students.

One and half years later, she did so well in her GCSE exams, that she received a Headmaster’s Scholarship.

Special Notes

To provide the best services available in the market, we constantly challenge ourselves. We reviewed our preparation pack for pupils prior to coming to the UK. When students have little overseas experience, it usually makes it harder for them to settle down. It could take them a long time to get the hang of one tiny detail. Therefore we subsequently designed a programme called Elite Start: A day in an Independent School with our first-hand experience to support students who want to excel from the start.  (The programme is not ready, yet).


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