A very different spring term

Two of our students talk about studying from home.

In response to recommendations from the Swedish authorities, our students in high school were urged to leave school and continue their studies from home starting on March 17th.

All of the day students and many of the boarding students in high school left campus from one day to another. And for most of them, this situation remains unchanged. However, some boarding students chose to stay, and even return, to continue to study from their boarding home.

Julia in class of DP21

Julia Swedenklef returned to Hong Kong to be with her family:

Julia Swedenklef, SSHL

Julia in her HK garden, in one of her online classes, enjoying the good 30˚C weather.

Where do you come from, Julia?
– My mother is American and my father is Swedish. I was born in Kentucky, USA and lived there for 8 years until I moved to Hong Kong for my dad’s job.

How long have you been at SSHL?
– I am finishing up my first year at SSHL now and I am a boarding student at Haga.

How come you choose SSHL for your studies? – Last school year I had the opportunity to do my studies on a tall ship while sailing around the world. After this experience I did not want to return to school in HK so I decided to come to SSHL.

You decided to return home to Hong Kong to be with your family during the pandemic. – Yes, I decided to study from home because I was worried that I might not be able to get a flight in the future.

All of my classes are now taking place over Google hangouts and the lessons are recorded, in case a student can not make the time. In a way this is very helpful to me as well because if I forgot what the teacher talked about I can look back at the recording.

The time difference in Hong Kong is 6 hours ahead of Sweden so it is a bit strange with my classes, but my teachers have been very supportive.

One thing that I do find difficult is keeping up with the clubs I am involved in, such as the Think Tank. Setting up meetings with everyone after class can be very difficult and I sometimes end up finishing my day at midnight.

How have you experienced this sudden change? – While I am happy to be with my family, I really miss the structure and activity of having school and I am sad to be missing so many end of year traditions. I am missing out on saying goodbye to the 3rd ringers. I have some friends that are graduating that I may never see again.

What happens next in your life? – I am looking forward to going back to SSHL next school year and finishing high school. While I am half Swedish, I have never lived in Sweden nor do I know the language. I wanted to experience Swedish culture and meet new people. My time at SSHL has been fun and I have made very good friends. After this I will take a gap year and then attend university!

Xiaolai in class of DP 20

Xiaolai Huang stayed at SSHL to study “from home”, at his boarding house:

Xiaolai, SSHL 2020

Xiaolai in a self portrait with a friend.

Where do you come from, Xiaolai?
– I’m from China, and I lived there my entire life until 3 years ago when I came to Sweden.

How long have you been at SSHL?
– I’m in DP 20, I started here as a second ringer so I’ve been here for 2 years.

How come you choose SSHL for your studies?– I chose SSHL because I needed a boarding school since my family was leaving Sweden, and because it’s quite a famous school.

You decided to stay at SSHL to study “from home” at your boarding home for the past months. How have you experienced this? – Yes, my impression is that it has a different feeling to it than being in the classroom. I felt I became a bit “lazy” at first, but once you really concentrate on the studies it becomes very effective. I haven’t experienced it that much though, since I am in IB where the final exams were cancelled.

Xiaolai Huong, SSHL 2020

Xiaolai is a dedicated IB and art student.

My time at SSHL has been wonderful. Boarding life has been a huge part during the two years. I stayed at a fantastic house with very friendly people and I really enjoyed living at Backa boarding house. To be honest, I haven’t been homesick once since I came here. The teachers are always helpful, especially in art which points me in a direction to my future. I love the school very much.

What happens next in your life? – The next stop for me is Melbourne and Melbourne University in Australia, I’m moving there for design studies. I don’t know what’s coming, but I’ll try to adapt and I really wish it will be the same good feeling as in SSHL.