Back to school in Northern Ireland
Although the Covid Pandemic has caused such disruption to our lives, it has brought benefits too - none more important than time. Time to review our lives, to reflect on what we truly want for ourselves and for our children. For those who have moved abroad, thoughts have inevitably turned to home. Deprived of the chance to visit family and friends, it is now we appreciate them more than ever.
Time moves on. Perhaps you were still single when you left home, now children have become the focus of your lives. These periods of reflection have allowed you to consider the values and opportunities you want them to grow up with and the kind of education that will shape those values and expand those opportunities.
Of the many reasons to make your home in Northern Ireland again, education is paramount. Education is one of the greatest gifts we can give our children, so we want to be sure we give them the best. What better guarantee of that could there be than to let them emulate your own schooldays experience, perhaps even at the same school, with the same teachers! If you need any further encouragement, remember the education system here is ranked among the finest in Europe. Northern Ireland's results at GCSE and A-Level are consistently top in the UK.
There’s a wide range of outstanding schools too, from boarding schools like Rockport by Belfast Lough in County Down, which counts Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody amongst its alumni, to increasingly popular integrated schools which bring together children from all backgrounds.
But that’s just part of the story. Nearly 80% of high school graduates go onto further and higher education, including at two of the world’s leading universities, Queen’s University and Ulster University. Both are centres of ground-breaking research and have courses that act as passports to employment in Northern Ireland’s renowned science and technology sectors, and, indeed, around the world.
It’s a wonderfully rounded university education too, alongside students representing over 100 different countries, including China, France, India, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and the US. There are other advantages too. You’ll be raising your children with your extended family close by, in a society where the family ethos is so highly prized. And imagine the adventures and fun you’ll have with the kids in a country where even the busiest city or town is minutes from wonderful outdoor adventures amidst a range of beautiful scenery, from endless beaches to magical mountains and rolling green hills.
Back to school in Northern Ireland. What a wonderful gift to give your children, and yourselves!
Sarah Mc Closkey moved back home to Derry to study personalised medicine.