Maria Gutierrez, Year 13
Year Group: 13
House: The Orchard
When did you join Bethany School?
I came to Bethany in Year 10, in 2015. Initially, I enrolled at Bethany for a short period to improve my English, but I made lots of friends and ended up staying until the end of Year 11. I then rejoined the School in Year 12 for Sixth Form.
Why did you choose to study in the UK?
The main reason I came to the UK initially was to improve my English but I also wanted to become more independent and my parents and I felt that Bethany would offer me the perfect combination of support to allow me to do both.
What A Levels are you studying?
I am studying Spanish, Art, Textiles. I really enjoy these subjects, they are the things I love to learn – which makes all the hard work worthwhile – and I am confident that I will do well in them.
Are you involved in any sports teams or music activities outside of lessons?
I was in the netball team last term, and currently I spend quite a lot of time in the Art School after school to work on various creative projects.
What do you enjoy about boarding?
Being part of the boarding community feels like being part of a family. I feel really comfortable and if I need any assistance, the teachers area always available for help and support.
What is your ambition after leaving Bethany?
I want to go to university either in the UK or in Spain and study either design or architecture. We receive a lot of careers and UCAS support in the Sixth Form, and recently had the opportunity to visit the University of Sussex, which was really helpful. It showed me what a university is really like and how different it is from school.
What advice would you give a pupil from your country thinking of coming to Bethany?
I would advise them no to be embarrassed at first, and to always try to join in as everyone is very welcoming. New pupils will feel really comfortable from the very beginning, as staff and other pupils are always there to support you.
In terms of the differences between my educational experience in Spain and that of the UK, I think the teachers here interact with the pupils more closely and provide more support.
What do you think is the best thing about the Sixth Form at Bethany?
The amount of support we receive from teachers, particularly around our future options and university destinations.
Miss Brown (Textiles) and Mrs McGovern (Spanish) have been particularly supportive and influential for me.