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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 April 2007, 07:08 GMT 08:08 UK
Boarding overseas
Some parents are sending their children abroad to boarding school, where they believe they will give them the best advantage in life. Roxanne Chadeesingh and her father told their stories


When my father first suggested to me that I change schools to one in India, I was aghast.

I did not know what say to him. I couldn't, of course, tell my father I didn't want to go, so I put on a brave face and told him that, of course, I would like to.

I felt like crying and celebrating at the same time
Roxanne Chadeesingh

When it was my summer vacation, my father looked excited and told me he had something important to tell me. He sat me down and told me he had to fetch something from inside. I sat there racking my brains trying to think of what it could be.

My father came back out carrying my passport. At this point I became really and truly confused! As he opened it, I peered over his shoulder trying to get an early glimpse of what he was going to show me.

He laid my passport on the table and I gazed at it. Right there in the middle of the page was a student visa for me, for India.

Reality strikes

I yelled and jumped for joy, then the reality hit me. I would be leaving my current school and moving yet again, all the way across the globe, to a whole new country and culture.

To be honest the entire thing scared me quite a bit at this point, and it was the first time I had second thoughts.

I felt like crying and celebrating at the same time. This would be the second time in the past two years that I would not only be moving schools, but also moving countries.

I had moved from England to Jamaica at the beginning of Year 7 and would now be moving again at the beginning of Year 9. I realised that I could not back out now, and decided to go through with it.

First day nerves

My vacation was cut short as I had to arrive in Bangalore early to get settled in. Walking around the city, I felt out of place in the hustle and bustle and wondered if it would be the same at school.

Finally the first day of school rolled around. I said my goodbyes to my father and then I was on my own. I stood awkwardly in my room and stared as my new roommates unpacked.

One of them, a vivacious girl called Sofiah, bounded over to me and introduced herself. I smiled and told her my name, hoping that we would be friends.

After having been here for almost six months now, I have come to see that the chance I took was well worth it. I am in a wonderful school surrounded by people who care a lot about me and my wellbeing. The boarding house is like a second family, a home away from home, full of supportive house mothers.

I have met some of the most amazing people here and made friends who are, hopefully, friends for life.


I decided to move Roxanne from her British state school as it became obvious that she would not achieve her potential there. I felt that she would thrive in a boarding school environment where there was well-established discipline and daily routine was set out clearly.

Choosing a school in India was a brave leap and although I had been researching the idea for a couple of years via the internet, it did not become a real possibility until I heard the BBC Radio programme which featured The International School.

She could remain a child for longer and not be pressured by peers
Prem Chadeesingh

I was looking for high academic standards, discipline, excellent facilities including sporting facilities, co-ed, and being affordable.

I also felt that Roxanne would grow to be more sensitive if she spent time in India, a very different culture from ours in the West, but one where she could remain a child for longer and not be pressured by peers and the environment in general to grow up too fast.

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