Old Brentwood Naznin Ferdhusi has been awarded a full scholarship for The English Speaking Union’s Secondary School Exchange which will see her jetting off to the United States in the New Year.
Eighteen-year-old Naznin, who left Brentwood School in the summer, will attend the Western Reserve Academy in Ohio for two terms before joining a UK university next September to read Medicine.
Since 1928, The English Speaking Union (ESU) has offered thousands of young people the once in a lifetime opportunity to spend two or three terms in a private US high school, after A Levels.
The Secondary School Exchange (SSE) Scholarship is a prestigious and highly competitive programme which gives scholars the opportunity to study a range of subjects including some that do not feature in a British school syllabus. Many scholars take the opportunity to study subjects they dropped at GCSE, or to go into more depth in their chosen degree subject, without the added pressure of A Levels.
The study skills gained from the exchange have proven to be beneficial at University especially as American teaching emphasises independence of thought, and discussions play a large part in the classroom.
The SSE is as much a cultural exchange as an academic one. Host schools offer an extensive range of extracurricular activities and facilities, as well as American rites of passage such as spring break, prom, and graduation.
Naznin’s success comes off the back of her sustained success representing the School in ESU public speaking competitions over the last few years. While at Brentwood she was also a Deputy Head of School; Chairwoman of the Sir Antony Browne debating society and was Secretary General for the inaugural Brentwood School Model United Nations.
Naznin said she was really excited about the two-term exchange and was looking forward to seeing the Ohio school’s Model United Nations in action as well as trying her hand at lacrosse.
She paid tribute to Brentwood for all the help she received in putting her scholarship application together. The award covers her boarding and tuition fees and includes some financial support.