From her remote hometown of Finley in country NSW, Australia, Year 11 student and aspiring athlete Leia Varley made the move to Melbourne to become a full-time boarder at Wesley College last year. Here she tells us more about her experience of the College’s boarding facility, Learning in Residence.
A passionate soccer player, shotput and discus athlete, Leia was drawn to the many sporting opportunities available at the College. “I’d heard that Wesley’s high-level sporting and coaching programmes and facilities were among the best in the country, and I knew that this would be a great environment for me to study and to further my sports talents,” she says.
Boarding at Learning in Residence, located at the Glen Waverley campus, has opened up a world of opportunities for Leia, far removed from her former life in regional Australia. Prior to her transition, her sports training commitments required a daily six-hour round-trip commute. As a learner-in-residence, Leia has full access to the state-of-the-art sporting facilities at Wesley’s Senior School, with close proximity to public transport and the convenience of private daily transportation to her soccer training, arranged by the College. She is currently in the Football Federation Victoria’s NTC Program, playing for the State team, and the Under 17’s NSW Athletics Target Talent Program.
Leia was surprised at how different Wesley’s Learning in Residence is from traditional boarding schools, with its strong sense of community and belonging. “We have grown to become like one big family,” she says. “We live within a diverse and close-knit community, where we have the opportunity to develop deep friendships with other students from around the world, and where mentors are always available to offer academic mentoring, support and care.”
The innovative design of the facility, created by renowned architects Cox Architecture, reflects the importance of social engagement within the learning process, and the need for all students to feel secure and at home. Each house is comprised of eight twin-share student bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms and mentor living quarters. Leia says, “It has an open and modern feel, where we really feel comfortable and at home – a home away from home.”
Upon completing her schooling, Leia aspires to play soccer for an overseas college.
Leia is a Learning in Residence scholarship recipient. Wesley College’s Learning in Residence is a supportive and inclusive purpose-built residence for Senior School students (Years 10 to 12), who come from rural and regional Australia, metropolitan Melbourne and international locations. Boarding Scholarships are available for students in Years 10 and 11.
To find out more, visit wesleycollege.net/scholarships or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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This article first appeared in the February/March 2018 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.