Students have the world at their feet
TWO teenagers who swapped Sweden and Italy for the Potteries are celebrating after achieving high GCSE grades.
Javairia Ahsan and Haram Alamin both joined The Co-operative Academy of Stoke-on-Trent, in Tunstall, part-way through their secondary education.
Now they plan to start college and hope to eventually realise their dream of attending British universities.
Javairia has achieved the equivalent of 13 GCSEs, including A*s in maths and her native language Italian, four A grades, three Bs, two Cs and a pass in BTEC sport.The 16-year-old, who lives in Cobridge, said: "I came here two years ago with my family. As we studied English in Italy, I could already speak the language. But Stoke-on-Trent is completely different to back home.
"In Italy, we don't have school uniforms or sets. For every subject, we have the same amount of teaching time and do a lot of work at home."
Javaria has been cycling to The Co-operative Academy for lessons every day.
"In Italy, we have motorbikes to get to school," she added.
Haram, who lives in Burslem, moved to this country from Sweden three years ago.
The 16-year-old said: "I only understood a bit of English at first. I'd come into school for 8am every day to do English revision."
The hard work has paid off as she has now achieved seven GCSEs, including an A, two Bs and four Cs.
Although Sweden's education system is world-renowned, Haram's family wanted her to benefit from an English-speaking environment.
"Swedish is not that largely spoken internationally," she said.
For Javaraia, Britain's higher education system has been the big draw.
She added: "I'm going to target a top university like Oxford or Cambridge. I'm hoping to study medicine."