EAL Alumni: Global Bede's - Teddy Ivandjikova
Teddy Ivandjikova, EAL Alumni
Where were you before Bede's and why did you come to Bede's?
Before I joined Bede's I was studying back home in Sofia, Bulgaria, and since the age of 10 I went to summer camps all over England, but never thought of actually moving permanently to finish my education here. However, I went to an Open Day at Bede's at the beginning of 2009 and it was at that moment when I became completely certain that I wanted to experience Bede's lifestyle.
So far that was my best experience in life and I would do anything to take time back and do it all over again.
What challenges did you face when you first arrived? What support did you receive from Bede's?
Of course at the beginning of my time in Bede's I did struggle due to lack of language knowledge and it was a completely different way of living compared to my previous experience back home. However, it didn't take me too long to get into the routine because I received a lot of help and support from my teachers, Housemistresses and Housemaster and, last but not least, the matrons, who would give 100% to make sure everything was going well.
In what ways did being at Bede's help improve your English?
All of my teachers were extremely helpful improving my English, not only in classes, but also after school or even during the breaks, for which I am very grateful.
Moreover, living in a boarding house with students from all over the world with different cultures and experiences was a great advantage and it is definitely one of the reasons my English improved dramatically at Bede's.
Which subjects did you study and why?
In my first year in Bede's, I was in the Pre-Sixth Form, which is basically doing GCSEs in one year. Then I took all subjects that I thought should be compulsory in order to have at least a basic knowledge of, for example, Science, History, Maths, ICT and of course English.
I really enjoyed and still do enjoy learning new languages. I studied Spanish and Russian, which I continued in A Level. The A Level subjects I chose apart from the languages were Maths and History, because they have always been my favourite subjects and I do believe they are very important.
Tell me about what you enjoyed most about being at Bede's?
That is a tough question for me; because there isn't a certain thing I enjoyed the most.
My whole experience of Bede's is something I will never forget and I would do anytime all over again.
Bede's was my home away from home and I even remember times when I wouldn't want to fly back home for half-term, simply because all I wanted is to be in Bede's with my friends.
I was in Dorter House and in my final year I was Head of Dorter. I did my best to make it home for all new students we had that year and of course make sure everyone was happy.
I am actually writing this with tears in my eyes right now. I could say so much about my experience in Bede's, but I will conclude with the words: It was the best thing that happened to me!
What activities did you enjoy at Bede's both in and out of school?
During my time in Bede's I tried different sports and I enjoyed every single one of them. I was in the Badminton team and it was a great feeling playing for my school in competitions. Furthermore, I loved the House Competitions especially the House Music. It was an experience that I would never see back home.
Also, I took part in the 24 Hour Workout Charity event, which took place every year and it felt so rewarding knowing you would be helping the children in Uganda.
On the other hand, I took advantage of the educational activities for example Greek and English Literature Reading which were very enjoyable and helpful.
Who was your favourite teacher and why?
Another difficult question… As my housemaster Mr Leggett was my favourite teacher, who was always be there for me when I needed anything. He taught me a lot and I owe a lot to him.
On the other hand, from the teachers I had through the years in Bede's Mr Henham and Mr Cook were the people I would go to if I had any questions and they would give their free time to give me all the help and support they could offer.
In my last year of A Levels, nearly every day after school Mr Henham would stay a few hours extra to help me with my work and answer all my questions.
I could keep going on about so many teachers. All the professors in Bede's are very professional and always helpful, taught me a lot and made who I am right now.
Can you tell me what you enjoyed about your year group?
My year group was great, I made so many friends who will always be in my heart. The ones that lived on campus were my family. We would do everything together and enjoy our time in Bede's to the maximum.
Do you feel that there were any wider benefits to the Pre Sixth Programme such as learning English whilst also doing your GCSE qualifications / using it as a stepping stone to A Levels?
One thing for sure is that Pre Sixth was not an easy start for me, however it prepared me for my A Levels perfectly. The other advantage of joining the Pre Sixth is that all of my year were international students, therefore we were all on the same level and there wasn't any jealousy or shame!
I would definitely recommend the Pre-Sixth Form to all international students. It's challenging, but absolutely worth it.
What did/do you enjoy about living in the UK?
Living in UK is very different to the lifestyle back in Bulgaria, but I definitely enjoy it. England is a country that gives a lot of opportunities to people from all over the world. Everyone is accepted and everyone gets given a chance to realise their ideas and work on themselves as individuals, without being judged.
What are you doing now?
At the moment, I am final year in Kingston University studying International Business and Spanish. Moreover, I work as a supervisor of the Student Union Bar of Kingston and I definitely stay busy, which keeps me going.
What are your plans for the future?
After I graduate I'd like to start working on my business plan and hopefully realise it in a few years. I'd like to have my own wedding planning company and also open a few shops for all kinds of event decorations. I have lots of ideas and I will work hard on it to make it happen.
I am already organising a wedding for a couple that I met randomly and they liked my ideas so they hired me!
On the other hand, I would like to travel around the world and share my ideas with other people and hopefully one day I'll have my own international business.