Academic Blogs Boarding Life Winter Term

Student Blog: My Winter Camp Experience

18 January 2019

“Nothing outweighs what it is like to live in a different country and meet people from all over the world.”

I decided to attend Winter Camp at Surval to learn French and meet people from all over the world. When I first got to Montreux and saw the school on the hill in the distance, I thought it looked beautiful and like a very joyful play. When I arrived, everyone was extremely friendly and kind in welcoming me to the school, showing me that my first impression was correct. The community here makes you feel at home quickly.

As part of Winter Camp, I attend classes with the other students, and these have been great so far. I particularly enjoy Cookery, where we made delicious puff pastries, and French. I am excited to continue learning about the French Revolution in my History class because it is a really interesting topic and we have already done a fun project on the causes of the war. We were asked to write a song or a poem in pairs about the six reasons the third estate started the revolution. Surval also has a tradition of choosing a few students each week and including them in the Excellence Book, recognizing them for their hard work. This week I was chosen as one of the students for my work in my Global Perspectives class, which felt amazing, especially because I am new to the community.

Outside of lessons, Surval has so many clubs on offer! I have joined the Charity, Zumba, Model United Nations, and Army Fitness clubs. They have all been awesome, but my favourite is Army Fitness. Last meeting, we hiked up into the woods while it was snowing. Everything was covered with snow and we got soaking wet but everything looked so beautiful. We were all freezing so on our walk back down to the school we stopped at a small restaurant to share a pizza and a kebab. I had so much fun being outdoors and getting to know the girls and teachers better.

The Winter Camp students get to miss classes on a Friday afternoon to go on special trips in the local area, and I was very excited to visit the Chateau Chillon because I can see it from my balcony and I was intrigued by the castle. While exploring, it felt strange knowing that people used to live in the freezing vast rooms I was walking in. I liked imagining what people’s lives must have been like back then and what it would have been like to live there.

On Thursday afternoons in the Winter term, the whole school goes skiing, and this was one of the highlights of my week. I loved being out on the snow and in the mountains with my friends. I have been skiing for most of my life but I had never skied in Europe before, and being on the top of the mountain, about to go down a trail, and seeing the sun start to set over the Alps was one of the most amazing feelings.  I am now really looking forward to the Ski Week in Anzère that is coming up. I love skiing and am excited to be able to do it all day every day.

To anyone who is thinking about attending Surval Winter Camp, I would say to definitely come! Although it sounds really clichéd, the community here is incredibly welcoming and friendly. There are many options of fun things to do after school and in our free time, and many opportunities for adventure. There are parts that are hard, but that’s part of the risk when coming to a new country and living there. However, there are endless amazing moments and nothing outweighs what it is like to live in a different country, and meet people from all over the world. I have loved my time here and can’t wait for the rest of the term!