When I first started joining Epsom, I was afraid that I wouldn’t have any friends but turns out Epsom is more welcoming than I expected. Having been in a boarding school before, I was very used to boarding but Epsom gave me more of an experience. I decided to take the opportunity to be a full-boarder meaning that I would be spending most of my weekends in school instead of going back home weekly (I live an hour away from Epsom). This is because Epsom provided me a lot of opportunities and top-notch facilities in order to develop my soft skills. I am proud to say that I am at least 10% better at sports now than I was before joining Epsom. Apart from that, I also got the chance to continue my passion for music. On weekends, I would be in the music room in Propert House playing the piano despite the fact that I did not sign up for proper music sessions (which you could if you are very passionate about music).
I was worried about transitioning into a new school but the people in Epsom are very welcoming and supportive. Due to its small community, everyone knows everyone here basically. You can always ask for any help and there will be somebody that will be coming to you to assist you. The Sixth Formers here in Epsom are very helpful and fun! We all work hard but we play hard as well! There are a lot of social events too – Christmas dinners, music concerts, drama performances, Epsom Edge and the Year 12 Midway Dinner. This is a great platform for students to socialise with others and build networks.
During my time in Epsom, I also got involved in activities outside the college, which was heavily supported by the school. For instance, I got the chance to be a part of the college’s winning ASA Viva team in which we won 1st place and RM500. The team consistedof 5 students (including myself), where we had to conduct research about the public healthcare system in Malaysia and what could be done to bring more equality and fairness into it. This was certainly very challenging as we had to present it in a viva presentation to Dr.Greta from Exeter University. This taught me the values of teamwork and the techniques needed in researching. These values will help me a lot in university later on in my life.
In Year 12, I was involved with the college leadership team – having joined the College Committee. Fast forward to Year 13, I was appointed as the college’s new Academic prefect for the next academic year 2019/2020. I was very excited and couldn’t wait to start contributing to the college to assist the staff and students in Epsom.
So how was it like to be at one of the most expensive private international schools in Malaysia?
To be very honest, it was an enjoyable experience. It felt very posh, and at first, it didn’t feel like a school. It was more like a daycare centre, having comfortable en-suite rooms and buffet-style meals. But then again, it was indeed stressful because of the college rules and regulations ; you can’t do this, you can’t do that. Most of my teachers were British so it took a while for me to understand but I am proud to say that I managed to adapt myself. There were times where it was problematic, having to change teachers every term but hey, you just need to be a little bit more independent. Definitely a different experience to my previous public all-boys boarding school life.
I would have never pictured myself to be spending the last few days of A-Levels at home. With the whole COVID-19 pandemic situation going on and a myriad of national Movement Control Order restrictions being imposed, I missed the chance to properly bid farewell to the people who were there for me throughout my 2 bittersweet years in Epsom College. Indeed, it was one hell of a ride. Ups and downs. Failures after failures. Countless of heartaches and misunderstandings. Disappointments and sorrow. Nonetheless, I consider these to be a huge part of my character development and for that I am forever grateful.
Most memorable experiences?
Throughout my 2 years, obviously I focused most of my time on academics. For your information, I took Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Economics, Politics and EPQ. Fun Fact: Epsom is the only college in Malaysia that offers A-Levels Politics! The thing is that when you’re enrolled in a ‘sports’ school like Epsom College, you can never avoid doing sports. Don’t get me wrong, I never hated sports, in fact I enjoy them but I just didn’t have the courage (and time) to do any? But then again, being in Epsom, I took the opportunity to get out of my comfort zone and actually joined various sports. I participated in House Football, Rugby, Basketball, Badminton, joined gym classes, swimming, archery and took some martial art classes. I also managed to lose some weight since joining Epsom partially because of the sports. Ever since Christmas dinner in 2018, I started a pescatarian diet (someone who only eats veges and seafood) and proud to say that I am still on the diet.
Apart from that, I definitely enjoyed meeting new people and socialising with a bunch of different people with different ethnicities and backgrounds. Don’t worry if you live far away from home and planning on to join Epsom! Here in Epsom, we celebrate every festivals and cultural events; Eid-ul Fitri, Chinese New Year, Deepavali, Christmas and etc. Epsom College embraces all the students and the diversity they bring to the school. With so many different festive celebrations, you will get to understand more about other people’s culture and in a way, experience a whole new different environment. With the newly established International Prefect post, students coming from other countries can seek help and guidance if you ever feel homesick or in need of any assistance. Epsom Prefects are really nice people! Trust me, I was one!
I spent 5 years in an all-boys public boarding school before joining Epsom so obviously it feels awkward having to see girls at school (maybe just me). Nonetheless, I am totally grateful for being at Epsom I guess, it felt like a training ground for me before going to the UK for my studies.
My experience in Epsom was wonderful despite being here for only 2 years. Throughout my A-Level journey, Epsom has provided me more than just quality British education, I was exposed to many doors of opportunities. The student support is amazing especially when it comes to university application. I was grateful to had gotten all 5 of my UK university offers and plan on reading Economics at the University of Warwick this summer. In Year 13, I was appointed as the Academic Prefect, this gave me the chance to enhance my leadership skills and, in a way, it helped me understand the meaning of teamwork and communication. Best part of being in Epsom College is the community here. Settling in Epsom was not a problem because the housemasters and housemistresses really take good care of you. There will always be somebody that you can talk to whenever you’re feeling down in the dumps. Even with the current Covid-19 pandemic going on, I was still able to attend all my classes virtually. The teachers were very committed and determined to carry on with lessons despite being far apart from the students.
In a nutshell, Epsom College provided me the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and broaden my horizon. A-Level is more than just academics. What’s important is how you enhance your soft skills and at the same time grow as a person. I am so grateful to spend my 2 years of A-Levels in Epsom College because of the amazing student support and facilities. Surely I will recommend 10/10!
Scholarships Available If You Are Interested !!!
Good grades in SPM/IGCSE? Have a talent for sports and music? Then why don’t you apply for an Epsom College Scholarship! You can either apply for the academic, sports, music or the prestigious Tune Libra scholarship in which you can be waived 100% from your tuition fees! Check out if you are eligible for any of the scholarships listed @ Epsom College website.
Muhammad Alif Iman did his SPM in Sekolah Sultan Alam Shah (SAS) and completed his A-Level in Epsom College (ECiM). He’s currently reading Economics @ The University of Warwick, UK (Class of 2023).