Half-term ski trip to Verbier for international boarding school students

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Half-term ski trip to Verbier for international boarding school students

Winter break for international boarding students

Our annual February half-term ski trip once again took us to fabulous Verbier in Switzerland. As the various UK schools had different holiday dates, we ran two escorted trips to ensure everyone had the opportunity to ski and explore Switzerland. It was lovely to hear and see our international students remaking their friendships after their October half-term trips to Dubai.

Almost 70 students, in two groups, flew into Geneva from boarding schools throughout the UK and the February half-term ski trip was officially "on"!

What a location!

Verbier is famous as one of the largest ski resorts in Europe with its varied ski slopes catering to all levels of skiing proficiency. It is a great choice for our students with their wide range of skiing ability including lots of complete beginners. The town is also famous for celebrity spotting and regular visitors include the Beckhams, Leonardo DiCaprio and even Prince William and Princess Kate although unfortunately, we didn’t spot any celebs this time.

On arrival at our camp Les Elfes, we unpacked in our chalets before putting on our skis to go straight onto the slopes. Our boarding students were quickly assessed and allocated to ski classes based on their ability.

These are the days that memories are made of

During the next few days, everyone quickly fell into the fun daily routine that can only come about on the snow filled mountains of Switzerland. On waking, we all shared a hearty breakfast in the dining hall and discussed who would be skiing on which slopes. Our fresh faced international boarding school students and their ski instructors met the bus at 9am sharp and skied all day, stopping for lunch and the occasional hot chocolate to warm them up. It often felt like we were living in a postcard, especially when eating lunch up on the mountain.

From 3:30 till 5pm, it was time to take off our ski boots and relax. Some students stayed in our chalet while others explored Verbier - always in groups of three or more, as safety is paramount.

Dinner was enjoyed back at camp including a traditional Swiss fondue one evening. Evening activities were also a source of constant fun including bonfires, disco and quiz games.


Exploring Switzerland as an international student

We took Wednesday off skiing to explore the region including one group that visited Bern. The other group visited cheese and chocolate factories. Learning how world-famous Swiss chocolate is produced was especially popular – this may have had something to do with all the samples we enjoyed!

After our week in the mountains, we enjoyed the weekend in Geneva before flying back to the UK and getting back to each boarding school.  We included photos of the tallest water fountain in the world, the Jet d'Eau, which literally means 'water jet' – which was very impressive... until they turned it off!

Successful transformations for international students from boarding schools

It was incredible to see how quickly our students’ skiing progressed and with their increased confidence, they pushed themselves to improve even more. The experienced ski instructors were great role models who bonded well with our foreign students. Our young learners enjoyed bonding again after their October trips and lots of new friendships were made in Switzerland.

Qué viaje por nos estudiantes extranjeros afuera de escuela!

Our annual February half-term ski trip may have ended, but the memories made with friends will last a lifetime.  We had lots of hugs and a few tears at the airport before everyone went their separate way back to school, all looking forward to meeting again for one of our next trips to Kenya or Greece (check out our blog post from our last trip to Greece!).

Reviews from international boarding students and parents

We always like to hear what our boarding school students and parents think after each trip. We could feel the energy and see the happy faces with rosy cheeks, but it’s always good to hear the final review once everyone’s back at school reminiscing and browsing through their photos.

Student feedback included lots of ‘What a trip’, ‘Best half-term break ever’ and ‘Guau, eso fue genial’ ‘Wow, that was great’, ‘I loved every minute and want to ski for another week’, ‘I didn’t know skiing would be such fun!’, and quite a few ‘Can I come back next year?’

One mother was quite emotional when she explained that her child hadn’t been enjoying school recently, but the friendships made and fun had in Switzerland had been a game changer. Knowing that the upcoming May half-term Greece trip would be equally as great meant her child was happy to continue at her UK boarding school. Both mother and daughter feel a lot more positive about returning to school in England.

Another parent explained their child ‘loved our ski trip even more than their family ski trips’ and wanted to know what our magic is!

What’s next for students enrolled at British boarding schools?

Our next trip is the three week Easter holiday adventure to Kenya. Our students will enjoy everything you would expect from a trip to Kenya – including safaris and beach. However, we are focussing on each student making a personal difference and will include several charitable projects for our students to challenge themselves.

Our last trip of this school year is the May half-term trip to Greece when many of our students will meet for the last time and enjoy culture, fun and sun!

Find out more about the exciting trips we offer to international boarding students throughout the year and come join us on the next one!

This article appears in the following categories  Guardianship, Students

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