What it’s Like to Board
Could boarding be right for your child? REILLY GROSE-HODGE (13) is in her second year of boarding and told Expat Living about her experiences at
Marlborough College Malaysia.
I’m in Year 7 this year, and I started boarding when I was 11. My Mum is Australian, my Dad is English, and I was born and raised in Singapore. Prior to Marlborough I attended the Australian International School in Singapore, from the age of three.
I wanted to experience boarding, and weekly boarding at Marlborough means I still get to see my parents at the weekends. My Dad attended Marlborough, Wiltshire in the UK, and that was another reason for me to join. I’m also in the school swim team so boarding allows me to arrive on time for early morning training.
Settling in was difficult at first. I felt homesick, but the teachers were there to help me get comfortable. I made friends quickly, and this helped as well. Our Housemistress and Dame ( the manager of household arrangements) are really focused on making the boarding house feel like home – we have a kitchen and a lovely common room, with beanbags, computers as well as a pool table and ping-pong table – it’s where all the girls come together and socialise.
The daily schedule is very busy with school and activities; we always have things to do and we never get bored. I enjoy playing after-school team sports with the boarders, and this really helps us get to know each other better. My boarding house friends are from a range of different countries, and sometimes we go shopping, to the movies as a whole house, or do planned activities with the boys’ junior boarding house.
For anyone considering boarding I’d say you definitely should; it’s a fun experience and helps you learn to be independent. Also, I find I am more focused on my studies and there are plenty of things to do, so I don’t tend to think about missing home so much!