This week, we welcomed students from our IB sister school, Westbourne College Sydney, as they touched down in the UK to commence an exciting two-week educational and cultural exchange programme. WCS offers our award-winning IB Diploma programme to Sydney Year 11 and 12 students to provide them with the best possible preparation for the pursuit of STEM careers worldwide.
The Australian students will spend two weeks immersed in Westbourne life and culture, joining their WBUK IB peers to explore our location, facilities and favourite places, as well as taking part in bespoke study sessions on IB Diploma excellence, STEM study, and business & entrepreneurship.
The students began the week with an intensive MBA-style workshop led by leading INSEAD professor and entrepreneur, Professor Adrian Johnson. Under Professor Johnson’s expert guidance, the students worked in groups to brainstorm, finesse and pitch their winning business ideas, taking time to discuss the setup and implementation of their enterprises, before being awarded prizes for the most compelling ideas.
In addition to meeting Westbourne’s IB teachers here in the UK, the Sydney students enjoyed intensive study sessions this week on core areas of the Westbourne curriculum, benefitting from carefully curated workshops designed to support them to excel in their IB Diploma studies.
Study sessions have included a Maths Day led by Principal, Dr Gerard Griffiths, STEM tutorials, as well as workshops on the Theory of Knowledge, Extended Essay and university courses, offering exemplar guidance and support in these areas.
The exchange presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to absorb a new culture, experience a different way of life, and to make new friends not only from the UK but from all over the world. Westbourne School offers a unique mix of traditional British boarding school with a truly global outook. In the UK, our student intake proudly includes over 25 different nationalities, complementing our predominantly local student body.
Alongside academic sessions, the Sydney students have spent time getting to know our IB students in the UK, socialising in the Boarding House and enjoying an array of excursions in the local area – from walking tours to Penarth Pier with views across the Bristol Channel, to evening walks across the Barrage to the spectacular Cardiff Bay, dining at local restaurants and taking part in activities such as trampolining, mini golf, dodgeball and white water rafting.
Before leaving for their UK university tour next week, the students will enjoy a Cardiff Day Out in our vibrant capital city, as well as a Mid Wales adventure trek, before a farewell meal in Penarth’s opulent Old Custom House.
The students have benefitted from bespoke study sessions designed to offer them expert-led support on not only excelling in the IB, but on best practice for applying to the UK’s leading Russell Group universities.
Next week, they will experience the best of the British university system for themselves, touring some of the UK’s top-ranking universities including the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, UCL, King’s College London and Imperial College London and meeting with Westbourne UK alumni who attend these universities. There will also be time for the group to explore the cities, as well as social and relaxation time – even a spot of punting in Cambridge!
The students will gain a better understanding of the character, ethos and history of these leading institutions, as well as finding out more about the UK’s elite group of world-class, research-intensive universities, known as the Russell Group. These unique institutions boast their own approach and specialisms, but share a commitment to academic excellence and pioneering study.