"We are changing during our life. That is a fact!
We change in school, by our friends, teachers, life surroundings. I can say that I’m different now. My school also gives me a feeling that everything will be fine with this world, that we are all the same, generally just people.
I remember my first night here, terrified after long traveling from the airport to school, worried how it will go, if it will go, or I will run back home after a week. Next day around the afternoon time I knew that it is going to be fine. Felt it deep inside. After more than six months I know that my feeling was right and this experience will be with me, unforgettable. I have been in boarding schools before, but only here I really understood how small this world is. How close we are to each other. What a family we are here.
It takes time, always a time to figure things out. To figure people, system, find your way. But after those six months I feel that I have my family here, my home. When I’m back at my country I even talk with my friends about this school using a word Home! As it is. I have my rituals here – morning showers after late night talking with friends from other rooms. Time when boys are passing by around 7 pm, to go for a dinner, sometimes I’m joining them, sometimes eating sandwiches from Simply – supermarket close to school.
There are three months left in this school, with these people. Sometimes I talk about that and it hit me like a hard ball straight in the face, that I have no idea how it will go there.. outside. This boarding school is my life now. And I do not know how I will manage without. If you want to come here, you have to understand that not everything always goes perfectly fine, we are so different, with our passions and mentalities, with our good and bad days. You have to respect that, always. Different feelings come, happiness about your friends who will run through whole school to keep you out of trouble even if it means trouble for them. Friendly knock by the door right in the moment. Great joke and laugh by dinner table. Moments when you feel that even in this short period of time, what actually feels ten times longer as it is, you can make a great family here.
So if you will be able not to love everyone and not cry at the end, I want to see you and shake your hand, because you are a master of emotions. ..Others, well.. we will cry!"Elizabete, from Latvia, tells us more about her experience as a boarder at Notre-Dame International High School,
“The atmosphere at the school is like an extended family- all the students know each other and care about each other.” “His current friends are from the US, Taiwan, Montenegro, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Syria.” “All of the teachers that I have been in touch with have been extremely helpful and concerned, giving as much help as they can. He is very comfortable with all of them.” “It has been such a relief to us to have our son in an environment that is competitive but that focuses on the student as a whole.” “The mixture of levels and ages insures that all of the students can feel comfortable, and though it would seem that the different levels are a hindrance, they aren’t because the school is small, and the teacher/student ratio is exceptional. It is wonderful to see our son becoming confident in himself again. More importantly, it is wonderful to see him happy.” “I have to tell you that it is exactly how we feel. Our whole family was stressed by [his former] school and we really feel like we have our son back. He's not an angel by any means, but he sure is a lot happier and a lot nicer to have around! We honestly feel that the school's atmosphere is incredible.”Excerpts from a letter from a parent of a current NDIHS student,
Five months, this was the amount of time that I stayed here at NDIHS. I had a great time. I just have to thank you- everybody: my colleagues and teachers.
During this time here, I had the opportunity to study in another country. I also got to know more about the French culture with our field trips and, of course, the fact that we are in France. I had the opportunity to know people from all parts of the world. I had friends from South Korea, Montenegro, Poland, US, Georgia, Taiwan, Thailand, Mexico, Romania, Philippines and also from my own country, Brazil. I am secure to say that knowing people from different countries changed my mind, some concepts that are no true, and talking to my friends I also had the opportunity to know a little about their country.
Living in the dorms was difficult in the first weeks, but it is really good to live with yours friends and colleagues. In the end it is really funny, you always have someone doing some kind of joke so you just can´t stop laughing! To have your place with your own mess- it´s also great, we see why our mothers don´t stop complaining about our disorganized rooms!
This was the best time that I ever had! Everything was right, even if it was wrong. Here I grew up, became a woman. Now I am returning to Brazil, and with me, along with heavy luggage, I´m bring an experience for life.
Thank you all!!!Beatriz, from Brazil, after her Fall Semester at Notre-Dame,
Why did you apply to NDIHS:
I wanted to experience French culture.
What were your expectations, fears?
Since this was the first time I was going far away from home I was nervous that I would be homesick, that I wouldn't have friends. That my teacher wouldn't be nice.
What's it like living in France, learning French, associating with French people?
Living in France is amazing. I love the culture and the language is beautiful. I have been lucky enough to have an amazing host family that has truly taken me in as part of the family and has done everything in the power to make me feel comfortable.
How do you feel now that you have been here for a while?
I feel more comfortable, when I first came everything was so new it was crazy for me, but now after being in France I feel much more a part of the culture.
What do you think you will have learnt from this experience?
A new language. Culture and people.
Do you think you have changed?
I think I have matured, I am more accepting of other people and I am happier.
What advice would you give to students coming?Alina, from the USA, has been interviewed by her classmate Sara, from Serbia, about her feelings been a student at Notre-Dame International High School,
Be open minded. Be accepting of other cultures and be friendly and social. Don't let your ideas of what people of certain countries are like get in the way of your relationships with people.