We spoke to Almy from Holland, Ursula and her husband (who met at Bell) from France, and Helene from Sweden to hear their memories of Bell, as well as any advice they had for those looking to study English in the UK
Let’s begin by hearing about your memories of Bell in the 1970s.
Almy: ‘I remember coming here and there was a very welcoming atmosphere [even though] we were all strangers. I remember coming into the lunch room and the first question, would be ‘where are you from?’, and that’s how you made friends. We would instantly get on and make plans to do things.
There were always lots of activities to do. Our friends and I did an end of term concert, we sang and did sketches, so it was great fun and the teachers were lovely. We learnt so much.’
Helene: ‘I knew I wanted to come here as my sister had come here. I came after Christmas, and I just walked in and felt at home. I was fortunate to be with this fantastic group of people, and we’ve stayed in contact ever since. I stayed with this lovely couple, and my sisters also stayed with them.’
Did your sisters study at Bell as well?
H: ‘Yes, my sister came and then my two sisters came, and also a lot of friends from Sweden.’
‘I had the same feeling at my boarding school – your parents would have been there, and children; it’s the same feeling here, like a big family. It was a lovely time and we had very good teachers.’
Ursula: It was one of the best years of my life and [I have] very nice memories and I met interesting people. It’s where I met my husband, and we are still together. We have a daughter who came to Bell in 2010, she followed the Foundation Programme, and she loved it. She went on to follow a University programme taught in English in Grenoble.’