Taunton's College or Brockenhurst? Watch

blu-neve
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Hey guys.

I'll come to England next year in order to study for the IB. I applied to Taunton's College months ago and was accepted - without even an interview (I live in Austria) or IELTS... I was really happy.
But then I recently wanted to exchange Theatre HL with Economics HL but Taunton’s does not offer Economics as they did not have enough applications for that class :/
And now I found information about Brockenhurst College and they offer Economics as well as Spanish ab initio (as no college offers French ab initio it would be the next language I'd like to study...) and I could still apply for the 2008/09 academic year.
Now I'm really cluttered. On the one hand the Taunton's has this great Tanzania Project, is close to the sea, Southampton is a big city where you can do a lot and I already have a lovely host family (and I think I really can’t call them off so I’d have to commute from Southampton to Brockenhurst every day - about 1 1/2 hour!!! ) - but on the other hand the Brockenhurst would offer the subjects I'd like to study (and it's not too far away to commute)... Is it an advantage or disadvantage that it’s much bigger than the TC? Someone told me the IB was a bit “chaotic” at TC - you’d have to be very organised to “survive” (I am organised but it’s more convenient when the course itself is “organised”…)

Could you maybe write down your experiences, some pros and cons of both colleges? Do you have any advice? Which college is “better”?
Or do you know another "better" college which is in this area and maybe offers French ab initio? I'd looove to learn French, but no college offers French ab initio (or do you know any???)

Thank you for your help
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blu-neve
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Is there nobody who knows anything??
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nuttygirl
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By Taunton's college do you mean Huish?
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alexa123
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heya,
i go to brockenhurst college, its a great college with a good atmosphere.
it wouldnt take you 1 hour and a half to get there from southampton!! its 20 mins train journey from southampton and im sure there are buses that go from the southampton area too.
i dont know anything about Taunton's im afraid, but i have really enjoyed brock, theres lots of options of subjects to do and you get a lot of freedom. ive found it easy to make friends too, there are around 2500 students, i came from a very small school and ive found it fine to adjust. There are quite a few IB students at Brock, one of my friends was one but changed her mind. so if you decide after a few weeks the IB isnt for you, you can do a-levels instead. There are quite a few international students at brock, mainly from China etc and lots of them stay with host families too so your not alone in that respect.

hope this helps.

alexa
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willowtree
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I'm starting college in this area in september, and tbh I think that the IB courses at these colleges don't look great. they're not very established ("disorganised" as you put it) and have limited choice of courses. I reckon you should go for A-levels: you can study whatever subjects you like pretty much (although fewer than with the IB) and the teachers are more used to teaching the subjects. as alexa123 said, Brockenhurst is not too far from Southampton and is generally a better college than tauntons. I reckon that bigger colleges are gonna be better as they have often better resources and so on.

PS go to Barton Peverill in Eastleigh. it is clearly superior to both the others you mention
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blu-neve
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@ alexa123: From where my host family lives it really takes so long! There are more options:
  • Either I go by train and change once: 1:25
  • Or I go by bus and then by coach: 1:17
  • Or I go by bus - change the bus - then by train: 1:25

That doesn't sound nice, does it? And I really do not want to change my host family and disappoint them!! :/

Please, tell me the Taunton's isn't that bad because I think - in the end - I don't have another choice. It's too late to apply to another "good" IB-college - eg. Hastings College which I considered to apply too. But, eventually, didn't apply because Taunton's had already accepted me and for Hastings College I would have had to do IELTS or/and come for an Interview. And Taunton's seemed to me pretty okay, too, and people there are very helpful...
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alexa123
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oh where are they based? if you could change host families and didnt want to go to Tauntons then i would do that, they would understand the circumstances, if not go there.

im suprised it takes so long to be honest! which train station does it say you go from?

when i first came to brock i was travelling nearly 2 hours there and 2 hours back each day, that was far too much. now ive moved closer it is so much better.
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VanillaSmoure
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Admittedly I don't know where your host family live, but alexa123 is 100% right - Brockenhurst to Southampton isn't a long train journey at all!?! There's nothing wrong with Tauntons though so I'd definitely go there if it's easier, the IB has a high work load you won't want to spend much time in commuting! Brock is ranked above Tauntons as a college on the whole, but is only about two colleges above in the rankings for IB courses (hardly any difference in the grand scheme of things ). I'm sure you'll love it wherever you go, good luck!
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