When Savarna Ghosh arrived in Tennessee from Kingston, Jamaica, she was bursting with excitement. There was a lot to look forward to. Many factors cemented her decision to attend The Webb School – an expansive in size, yet quaint in feel, co-educational day and boarding school located in rural Bell Buckle. While the American dream has always intrigued her, what sealed the deal was a broad lineup of academic offerings delivered at a beautiful campus any international student would be proud to call their second home.
She reminisces her first impressions of Webb as “welcoming and smooth.” Pictures did its lustre justice, but not its dimension. Thankfully, everyone – from faculty to seniors – was keen to show her where she needed to be and eager to help her plan her schedule. “My advisor and dorm parents helped me reorganise my entire life in just a few days,” she says.
In no time, she was settled and ready to embark on her journey to interdisciplinary excellence. Today, just six months in, the Grade 11 student is thriving in multiple areas and loving every minute of it. With every assignment, Savarna is not just growing as a student, but as a person. With every opportunity, she takes one big step toward realising her life mission. In this warm, family-like setting that combines rigorous academics with personal integrity – it’s hard not to.
Outside the classroom, Webb students live and learn in harmony. Inside the classroom, they get a glimpse of their futures. Ask Savarna what she plans on achieving in university and she’ll list multiple possibilities simply because she can. Webb knows their students are capable of achieving far more than structured curricula suggest, so they give them the tools they need to go further.
“In Biology, we conducted a genetic lab which is usually done in universities, but Mrs. Seals managed to get the equipment. It was one of the most incredible things I have ever done,” she says. “The art room is also one of the most unbelievable places on earth! Here, there are no boundaries to creation.”
Hazel Song from Seoul, Korea, explains her history class with the same enthusiasm. Song admits that before Webb, she had no interest in the topic, but teachers here helped her see it in a new light.
“My history teachers offer college-level lectures that fascinate me,” says the Grade 12 student. “They’ve also taught me to take efficient notes throughout, which is definitely preparing me for college life.”
Such outcomes are typical for Webb students. After all, surroundings exude a sense of comfort, safety, and security. What more can an international student ask for? By knowing their backs are protected every step of the way, they develop the confidence to be themselves. They also find the courage to leap into the unknown. Thankfully, at Webb, there’s a lot to uncover.
Over 405 students –representing 23 different countries and 15 US states – are enjoying several offerings that make Webb unique, each designed to transform them into courageous thinkers, makers, and doers.
The Emerging Voices Programme focuses on communication; specifically writing, research and public presentation – all of which are competencies that will serve them well in university and beyond. From performing declamations and orations to presenting original work and senior papers, students of every grade are finding their voices and learning to use them effectively.
These same voices can be heard giggling and cheering in the great outdoors. Webb’s 150-acre campus in Bell Buckle – a small town known for its rolling hills, lush farmland, and Southern charm – is the perfect place for young learners to become one with nature.
To promote leadership and bravery in the process, the Wilderness Instruction and Leadership Development (WILD) programme teaches them to navigate rope courses, rock climb, kayak, raft, and more.
When Savarna isn’t brainstorming ideas with the creative writing club, serving as an assistant stage manager in the theatre club, or taking part in mock trials – she’s developing key skills in the outdoors as well. “Determination, consistency, and collaboration” are the most prominent ones she credits to Webb’s annual canoe trip to Florida.
Of course, several faculty members are always around to guide and protect during such excursions. “The Webb School is very serious about wellbeing and safety,” Savarna explains. Their guidance ensures students can go the extra mile without parents having to worry.
A recent survey confirms this. Webb families are very happy with their experience. It’s little wonder why. In a world plagued by social unrest, discrimination, and negativity, Webb scholars and their unbreakable smiles provide a glimmer of hope.