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Student Blog: How Surval Summer Camp Changed My Life

13 December 2018

“Surval Summer Camp changed my life…”

Violeta, G9, describes the impact attending Surval Summer Camp this year had on her – including her decision to come back to the school for the academic year…

I chose Surval Summer Camp because I thought it looked really interesting and a great opportunity to learn a new language, visit and learn about Switzerland, and make lifelong friends. My first impressions of Switzerland were that it was a beautiful place that felt so safe – and I immediately recognised Surval when I saw it on the hill because of its bright yellow colour! To begin with, I was really nervous about being abroad alone, but the staff made me feel welcome and supported, and the girls were very nice and friendly. I felt like I was in a really safe place where we could learn about other cultures, languages and experiences. I had imagined that Switzerland might be quite cold but it was really warm and the sunsets were amazing!

The Summer Camp activities were a brilliant way to get know everyone. My favourite activity was the banana boat on the lake – although the water was cold it was so funny when we all fell off! During the weekends, I enjoyed all the different trips, such as Annecy, Bern, Lausanne, Geneva and Yvoire. In my English classes, I felt that I was challenged by being placed in the top set class with girls who spoke English well. English is not my mother tongue, but my teacher and classmates made me feel really comfortable in the class, and we were doing projects that helped me to improve my vocabulary. 

Surval Summer Camp changed my life because I had never been alone in a foreign country. After this experience, I have become much more independent with greater knowledge about other cultures and friends from all over the world. It made me really think about the future and what I want to achieve, and that is why I am here now. I love the school – it is like a home. I feel like the school is preparing me for the future by helping me to become more independent, to appreciate the things that I have and learning important skills – both in and outside of the classroom. Being at this boarding school makes me feel like I am becoming rich in knowledge for life. 

During Summer Camp we did a project in my English class about Sustainable Fashion and now I’m studying at the school, there is the opportunity to join many clubs, one of which is the Sustainability Club, where I can continue trying to help our world. I have also learned public speaking skills in MUN and have learned about the issues that are happening right now in the world; we discuss solutions for these problems, which really helps me in my life – having to consider the two sides of any issue is teaching me to make better decisions. 

To someone who is considering coming to Surval Summer Camp, I would say that it is an incredible experience because…there are so many things to say! It is a nice environment where you can feel comfortable in a safe place; you can make lifelong friends; give yourself a clearer idea of what you want to do in the future; learn about different places and cultures – and, of course, the view is beautiful! I would extremely recommend coming to the Summer Camp because you will make memories for life.