Anastasiya arrives in Gloucestershire - from Russia with 10 A*s
MOVING to a different country is daunting for anyone, but teenager Anastasiya Belova took it in her stride.
Not only has the 17-year-old settled in well, but she has excelled academically – achieving some of the county's top GCSE results.
She moved to the Forest of Dean four years ago when her mum Elema married Richard Wood.
The pair both knew very little English but since attending High School for Girls in Denmark Road, Anastasiya has achieved 10 A*s, three As and an A in additional maths.
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And when her school featured in The Citizen on A-level results day, her mum sent copies home to Russia.
Anastasiya said: "My mum was very proud to see my name on the results list in the paper and sent many copies to my family. Before coming to this country I had been learning English for eight years on a course which was the same content as the Cambridge curriculum.
"But my grammar still needed improving. I much prefer the school life in England because in Russia it is very academic-based and no time to relax.
"Since starting I have made very good friends, the school life is slightly relaxed and the teachers have been very supportive."
The dedicated student attended extra sessions with teachers at school.
She is now studying for A-levels in further maths, chemistry and biology.
Although Russia will always be home, Anastasiya loves life here. She said: "I do like the Forest of Dean, it is like any place you move to, you get used to it.
"I did go back to Russia two years ago for a family reunion which was really nice to see everyone."
When Anastasiya is not buried in her books, she has a love for all things cultural.
She said: "I am also a very creative person and I like going to Cheltenham because of the amazing architecture and museums. In my spare time I also like doing a bit of photography."
Although Anastasiya does not know what career she wants to pursue, her passion for maths will have something to do with it.
Mum Elema said: "I am very proud of my daughter, when I think about her, it brings tears to my eyes. She has been working very hard.
"When she was younger I had to tell her to concentrate on her studies, because nobody gives you anything in life. You have to work to have a life you want.
"Studying has become a habit for her and she wants to go to university."