Living in London – The Rose of York Team has something to say!
With the new year off to a running start, we are excited to get to know all of our new students living in London! But we have realised that not all of our students know the members of the Rose of York team. So, here we are, starting with a brief introduction to our Accommodation and Welfare Manager – Sasha.
1. Please introduce yourself:
Hiya, my name is Sasha and I am the Accommodation and Welfare Manager here at Rose of York. I am originally from South Africa and I have been living in London for almost three years now.
2. Why did you choose to come to London?
Honestly, I always said that I would never live in London. I thought it was too big, too crowded and too hectic. But my family lived near London and I wanted to be closer to them so I took the leap and three years later, I love it! It’s still a bit too crazy for me sometimes but that’s when I disappear to the little towns for a weekend away! But, there is always something to do in London and you’ll never get bored!
3. What is your favourite thing about London?
I love the river Thames, especially in the west of London. It’s super relaxing and the scenery is beautiful! One thing that London does VERY well is Breakfast and Brunch. I am a serious fan of pancakes and French Toast! So, every weekend I pick a random Tube Station and explore that area until I am hungry. I treat myself to breakfast, and continue exploring. It’s a great way to see London and discover those areas that you wouldn’t typically need to go to.
Also, I love that there are so many places to visit that are only an hour away. I can pop onto the train and spend a day in Oxford or Brighton.
There are options for a new adventure every weekend!
4. How did you come to work at Rose of York?
Well, I started out as an English Language Teacher here at Rose of York. When I moved to London, this school was the first to offer me a teaching position and I’ve simply never left! From teaching full-time, I wanted to explore the operations behind the scenes and when I got the opportunity, I grabbed it! Having been a teacher has helped so much in my understanding of how the school works. Ultimately, everything is about the students and I never forget it!
5. What do you like about working at Rose of York?
I love the people! Being a small school, we really get to know each other. My colleagues are from all around the world and they teach me something new every day. I also love the fact that I have the opportunity to get to know our students and see them develop and improve. There is nothing better than seeing the happiness on a student’s face when they have met their goals and feel that they have achieved something! Or, when students explore the city and start telling me of the wonderful new things about living in London!
6. What does your average day entail?
Wow, tough question! A little bit of everything really! I start my day with emails, I try and ensure nothing gets forgotten. Then, depending on the day, I go around the classes and remind students about our weekly social programme. It’s great because I get to have a quick chat with the students and see how everyone is feeling.
Once I’m done with the classroom rounds, its back to administration! Welfare is a never-ending task and there is always something to do! Generally, I research changes in legislation or regulations and try to make sure we are always up-to-date regarding our policies. I am constantly updating our handbooks and policies making sure that everything is correct.
In addition to this, I am always looking for new accommodation for our students.With all the development in London, there are always new and exciting accommodation options, so I get to create new opportunities and explore London. When we have a new accommodation option on our books, I travel to the location and inspect the quality. I like to make sure that it meets our requirements. The first question I always ask: “Would I like to live here?”
7. So, what exactly is Welfare and Safeguarding?
Well… Welfare is, very basically, looking after our students. Ensuring that everyone is happy and comfortable. This is not only relevant to the time they spend in school but in London in general. I have moved many times and it never gets easier. I understand what it feels like to be away from friends and family and to be in a new place where everything is different. At first, it can be really scary, but I like to see it as an adventure. And so, Welfare is ensuring that our students feel welcome, comfortable and adventurous. Whether students need advice on a good restaurant or need to talk because they feel lonely, my office is always open!
Similarly, safeguarding is protecting our students from danger or harm. Specifically, students that are a little more vulnerable (such as students under the age of 18). Safeguarding includes things like making sure all staff and accommodation providers are suitable. Or, our activities and social programmes are appropriate for our students. We continuously endeavour to ensure that we create a safe and nurturing environment for all our students.
8. What are your future plans?
Geez, you’re asking the tough questions today! I’m not too sure at the moment. I am currently happy doing what I’m doing and living in London. But, perhaps I might like to go back to University and study a little more. But, I am still trying to decide what exactly I want to study and which of the many universities in London to study at! So, we’ll see… try asking me again next year!