British Invasion: Partnership between Winchester and GFS launched

The most exciting thing to come from England since The Beatles! Four high school students from Winchester College in England—George Berry, Alex Cheung, George Tall, and Henry Websdale—visited Philadelphia this past week. As part of the exchange GFS has with Winchester, the boys stayed with some of our fellow classmates over their ten-day vacation to attend classes at GFS and explore different cities on the East Coast.

“I absolutely love Philly!” said Berry. “There is such a coziness here. I’d like to call it my hometown.”

“Though Philly is just as exciting, I was most ecstatic to see New York,” added Websdale. “It is just such a landmark.”

After spending time in Center City Philadelphia last Thursday and Friday, the boys traveled to New York City on Sunday and Washington, D.C. on Wednesday.

“My favorite thing has been all the museums and monuments we’ve seen. I loved the MoMA, the Barnes, and the 9/11 memorial,” said Berry.

The British students visited the robotics lab at Penn the first day of their trip. From left to right: Henry Websdale, George Berry, Alex Cheung, George Tall.

Of course, the boys had to spend some time in class as well. They got to choose their own classes and spend their days as typical GFS students, which they realized was different in many ways to being a Winchester student.

“Addressing teachers by their first names is very different,” said Cheung.

“Yes, it seems a bit disrespectful. But, I guess you just have to get used to it,” added Tall.

“Overall there is a much more relaxed atmosphere here and the teachers definitely seem more casual,” said Websdale. “At Winchester, the whole school is very close together because it is a boarding school, and it is a lot more intense. I don’t think the informality at GFS affects the learning in a negative way at all though.”

“Yes, the informality just seems to create a closer relationship between students and teachers,” said Tall.

The Winchester boys also noticed differences between America and England as a whole.

“Everyone is definitely a lot more friendly and approachable in the states,” said Berry. “People can just come up to you at a restaurant and start a conversation. I think people are more relaxed here overall.”

We’ll have to wait and see what our GFS students have to say in response after their month at Winchester in January.

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