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Sino-British Club unites boarders from around the worldAugust 5th, 2016
Thoughtful boarding school pupils have set up a multicultural club to celebrate the heritage of their housemates and help foreign pupils to integrate with ease.
With 26% of all boarders at Haberdashers’ Monmouth School for Girls coming from China and Hong Kong, sixth formers established the Sino-British Club as a way to break down barriers.
From playing Chinese card games and cooking up feasts inspired by East Asia, to learning Mandarin, nearly 30 girls from various backgrounds are expanding their horizons thanks to joining the group.
British boarder Rosa, 17, first started the club in Augusta House.
She said: “I’ve been a boarder for five years now and we get a lot of international girls; many from Eastern Asia. I think it’s very difficult to come to a new school in a completely different country where you might not have any family members.
“It’s quite easy to become friends with people from the same culture and life as you, so there’s always been a bit of a divide. I thought the club would act as a way to get everyone together and help us get to know each other a bit better – and it’s a lot of fun.”
The Sino-British Club organises themed event nights twice a term.
And each member has a special badge to wear on their school uniforms, featuring the word ‘harmony’ in Chinese writing, to show they belong to the club.
Rosa added: “We’ve all been given Chinese names too – mine is Mei Gui, which means Rose.”
Cherry, 17, is a boarder from Hong Kong.
She said: “I love the food we make together! The club has really meant we can integrate with everyone and get closer to each other. We knew everyone quite well already, but this has been so much fun and brought us even closer.
“We teach the British girls basic phrases like ‘I love you’ in Mandarin.
“Every boarding school has a lot of Chinese children – we should all be together and have a good relationship.”
Cherry joined HMSG almost a year ago and settled in straight away.
She added: “It feels like home here. I felt a bit worried about coming and being away from my family, but I feel very safe and all these girls are really nice.
“I love the buddy system. You’re grouped with one local girl who is taught by the same teachers and studies the same subjects as you.”
Houseparent, Julie Ann Morse, admires the boarders for creating the group and is considering starting a Multicultural Club to encompass all countries.
She said: “As staff, we always try hard to help girls from different cultures to integrate.
“Coming to school in the UK is a massive step for some of them, a real culture shock.
“The club is a common thing they can all talk about – it’s a catalyst for a lot of things.
“They’re creating a legacy that will carry on after they leave.”