From Sierra Leone to Oxford

Barathi Amarasekaran, from Sierra Leone, has just begun her Advanced Level Foundation programme at Kings Oxford. Below are her thoughts so far on both her course and school life.

Course and subject choice

I am Barathi Amarasekaran and I am currently doing the Advanced Level Foundation course. I chose the subjects Physics, Maths and Art and Design in addition to the compulsory subjects CSS and Data Handling and so far, it has been going quite well.

"I’ll highlight that Art and Design is my favourite compared to the others. From a young age, doing Art was like a hobby to me, I never really took it as something academic. I love the fact that it’s based on my own interest as well as how much imagination and creativity it has."

The school

This term, my experience at Kings Oxford is a little different as I expected to it to, be but this is due to the current global COVID-19 situation. Even with all of this, the school did make sure that we were all welcome and tried their best to set up the place in a way we were all safe, with added precautions and rules.

"I have adapted to school life with social distancing and compulsory masks. I do feel safe at school because it’s very clean, and there are rules, for example, a ticket method of getting food in the cafeteria which does help a lot in keeping social distancing."

Enrichment opportunities

I haven’t joined any clubs as of now because I wanted to see how the situation was first, but now I definitely do as there are new activities being added recently that I find interesting.

"I have made lovely friends, especially from Nigeria, China and Albania, even with social distancing."


I’m presently staying in private accommodation with my aunt and my brothers and I love it because I have my cousins with me so I’m never really lonely — and it’s a nice environment. I live close to the school so for me it was fine being in the UK and going to the school instead of doing it online, which I sometimes I didn’t really like.

"I get enough help and assistance from the teachers, and see my friends in a safe school environment so I’m glad I’m going to school in the UK."