Name: Donya Bonakdar

House: The Orchard

When did you join Bethany?

I came to Bethany for Year 9 in 2014 and stayed for Year 10. I then returned to Bethany for Year 12. Before I came to school here I was at school in Iran.

Why did you choose to study in the UK?

My dad studied in the UK and my brother has been in Jersey for seven years and we have other family here, so coming to school in the UK was the best option for me and for my family.

What A Levels did you study?

I studied Business Studies, Politics and Drama. I want to study Law in future, and I believe that Politics A Level is good preparation for the degree course. I studied Business Studies because I felt that everyone should have a business mindset – whatever field they go on to work in – and I also studied Drama as I believed it would give me confidence in public speaking and help me present myself well when I practice Law in the future.

Were you involved in any sports teams or music activities outside of lessons?

I played a lot of sport: I was in the netball team and was in the rounders team. I also played the piano and of course I took part in performing arts activities. I was in senior production in 2018; we staged High School Musical and I played the part of Ms Darbus, the Musical Director at East High.

What did you enjoy about boarding?

For me, the best thing about boarding at Bethany was that the friends that you make become family, and the feeling that – even when you’re far from home – there was someone who would help you and support you.

What are you doing now you have left Bethany?

I am at University College London studying Human Rights Law. Following that, I’m planning to work in a London law firm.

What advice would you give a pupil from your country thinking of coming to Bethany?

If you really care about your future, you have to step out of your comfort zone and do something that might be difficult. At first it might be a challenge, but I always focus on the future and think about the possibilities: going to university, graduating with a good degree and making my parents happy.

Coming to Bethany has showed me that when you really put your mind to something, you can accomplish anything.

What do you think was the best thing about the Sixth Form at Bethany?

The best thing about Sixth Form was the teaching staff, who were excellent, and the bond that exists between staff and pupils. I really liked the way in which the School treated you as an adult – we were able to take on responsibilities as prefects, we were assigned duties within School, and we were able to participate in activities such as Young Enterprise competitions.

Bethany is a community, a family. The staff and pupils make you feel really welcome.

Dorothy Li, Teacher of Mandarin and tutor: as Donya’s tutor, I am really pleased to work with her: she is determined, confident and enthusiastic about all her subjects.