Reflections of a German Student
7 months in Fifth Year at Ard Scoil na nDéise
28th March 2016
Author Rosa Paptistella is third from the left.
The photo shows Eileen O'Brien, Clarisse Nadaud, Rosa Paptistella and Muireann Walsh at Ard Scoil Music Concert, November 2016
On the day I found out that I was going to Ard Scoil na nDéise, the first thing I did was search for it on the internet. Afterwards I was thinking: “Oh my God how am I going to survive 7 months in school uniform and in an all-girls’school?!”
Well, I can say now, after 7 months, that I did survive and I found out that going to an all girls’ school is not as bad as I imagined it would be. If I think back, I still can feel how nervous I was on my first school day here. Will my English be good enough? Will I understand the teachers and the girls? Will I find the classrooms? Will I make friends? Those questions were running through my head the whole time.
But then I talked to Mrs Hughes for the first time. We picked my subjects together and she was telling me about the school rules. But she didn’t bring me into my first class ever in Ireland without making sure that I knew that I could always come and talk to her if I have a problem or if I was homesick and just needed someone to talk to, which I really appreciated.
The school is not too big, so after 2 weeks I knew where I had to go, without getting lost! The teachers in Ard Scoil are really nice and if you don’t understand something they always go back and explain it to you. The relationship between teacher and students is really good, which made the classes kind of funny and even more interesting.
After seven months of being here, I am really proud of who I have become. And a big part of becoming who I am, was the school. I had several opportunities to develop my self-confidence, for example at the concert in school when I played piano. It was a huge deal for me but thanks to Ms Lucey and my friends I did it and I’m still proud of that. Speaking in front of a whole class was horrifying for me but now through the help of Mrs Simons I can do it without nearly getting a heart attack. Of course I also had days where I didn’t feel too good and just wanted to go home, but the teachers, Mrs Hughes, the girls and my host family helped me on those days.
Ireland was like a rollercoaster for me. I had my ups and downs but at the end, I haven’t only improved my English, I learned many new things about myself. And of course I learned to live and love the Irish culture. I want to take the opportunity to thank everyone who made my 7 months the best 7 months I could have ever dreamt of. And I think I might even miss wearing my blue school uniform!
Rosa Paptistella, 5th Year
Transition Year Gaisce trip to Wicklow, March 2016