A group of Chinese students were welcomed by staff and students at Ellesmere College after they won the opportunity to experience life in a successful UK boarding school.

The competition is part of The China Daily newspaper and a film crew has also come along to catch a glimpse of life in Shropshire for a TV show which will be aired in China.

Mark Li, 14 from the south of China is one of the students who won the competition and opportunity which is funded by the Bank of China.

He is very excited to be in England and at the boarding school, he said: "This is the second time I've been to England. The first time I travelled around but this time I get to experience school life of a normal English teenager. I like it here because we do less work and there is more free time. I feel more free and that I can relax and listen to music. I had to write a speech about why I would like to come to the boarding school and answer some questions from judges and then I won the competition."

Cici Li, 12 from the north of China is visiting the boarding school for one week. She likes it so much she has asked to stay for another week whilst her parents travel around England.

"I really like it here and I want to stay. It is different from my school at home because we only study Maths, English and Chinese but there are more interesting subjects here like religion, geography, history and you get to do sport. The environment is also great because there is no air pollution and I can smell the grass. My favourite hobbies are table tennis, rope jumping, running and playing the piano."

Ryan Sin G, 13, lives in Shanghai and says Shropshire is very different to his home.

"Shanghai is a big city with lots of tall buildings and it is very noisy with lots of people in the street. The name of my city means it will never sleep, people are up all the time. I can't study very well in the city and the education is not as good as England. I would like to stay here as my school is very small and there is no football or sports like tennis or basketball."

The students are being looked after by buddies Gloria Lipinska from Poland and Adrian De Migual from France.

Headteacher, Brendan Wignall said: "It is very much about sharing the same experiences. 20 per cent of the students here are international students it may not sound a lot but that is 35 to 40 individual countries. The kids are used to showing new people around and for most of the kids it is the first time in the UK let alone a boarding school.

"It's a great environment to be in and the children are keen to be involved. The buddies are great as they may not want to discuss how they feel with a teacher but they can ask their buddy and we also try and pair them up according to similar situations."

The students will be joining in with activities during their weeks stay including a culture night and a movie night in the hope to return to study permanently.