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Each week, students from all over the world visit the college to study and explore Hastings and the South East.

(3 minute read)

Back in September we welcomed a group of Japanese students to Hastings to study with us for a year and get a taste of college.

11 students from Kyoto, travelled almost 6,000 miles to Hastings to study General English along with a range of A-Level subjects.

The study year was set up thanks to a newly formed partnership between the college and the Kyoto Gakuen High School in Kyoto.

We caught up with Ayami Nishida to find out how her study year has gone.

“Hi, I’m Ayami and I’m 18, and during my ten months in Hastings I’ve been studying Business, Sociology, and Psychology, as well as General English.”

We study English for 16 hours during the week, generally in the morning, and join our chosen A-Level subjects in the afternoon.

Our teachers in Japan told us about the opportunity to study in the UK and Jeremy (Oughton) came over to our school to tell us about A-Levels and what it is like to study in Hastings. From the pictures and listening to Jeremy, I was really excited about the opportunity, and couldn’t wait to come here.

The flight was really long, but I managed to sleep for most of it. It was the first time that I had been to the UK, and when we arrived in Hastings I remember being amazed by the building and all the facilities at the college.

There are 11 of us altogether and each of us studied something slightly different. Some of my friends studied Art and Photography, and some of the others studied Business and Media Studies. That meant we had different lessons, but we were always together in the morning to study English.

Our English tutor, Tom, was really nice and helped us a lot with our spelling and grammar and he also helped us with our speaking and pronunciation. When we first arrived, we were all a little shy and didn’t like to speak much English, but now, we talk to pretty much everyone!

I really enjoyed studying Psychology, Sociology and Business alongside other A-Level students from the UK. Everyone made me feel really welcome and I settled in really quickly. The teachers were all so lovely and always there to help me if I didn’t understand something. It gave me a real taste for what studying in the UK is like, and now I’m hoping to come back to the UK to go to University.

I’m so grateful to the college because they arranged for me to travel up to Warwick University to attend an Open Day so I could find out more about studying medicine.

Outside of college, we had so much fun.

We stayed with host families in Hastings. Two of my friends also stayed with the same family and we all had our own room. It took a little while to settle in, but once we did, it was great. The family were really nice and would always make sure that we were ok and tried to encourage us to make ourselves at home.

We would often all meet up during the weekends to explore Hastings. We loved spending time on the new Pier. During the Christmas period there was a Christmas market on the Pier, which was great for buying little gifts for our families. We also enjoyed drinking hot chocolate and having a go on the mini ski slope.

Some of the other things we liked to do were have a round of Adventure golf, visit the Smugglers Caves and sit on the beach when the sun was out. We went along to some the events during Hastings Carnival Week, we experienced Mardi Gras in February and joined in with Jack in the Green in May. We would often visit Priory Meadow shopping centre and would also walk through the Old Town to get fish and chips or an ice cream.

Hastings is a really pretty town and some of the group were able to take great pictures of the fishing huts, the cliff railway, and the pier, for their art projects.

As it was our first time in the UK, we also planned a trip to Brighton to see the i360 tower, and a trip to London to ride on the London Eye, visit Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, and take pictures at Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square.

It has been a very worthwhile and valuable experience and we’ve thoroughly enjoyed our time in Hastings. We are heading back to Japan on 21st June, and I hope to return to Warwick University next September after I have finished the rest of my studies.”

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