8th - 14th January 2019
Writing: Sebastian McGrath (Year 10) and Mariya Sait (Year 12)
Signing up to the Dr Challoners’s Australian host scheme, I had no idea what to expect. My excitement bubbled over with ideas of the places we could go and the activities we would do!
Once being allocated my host student (Tayla Grice) we started up a correspondence and began learning all about each other, as well as the things she would enjoy and like to experience over here in London. It seemed as if time had flown by in a long stream of emails and suddenly it was time for Tayla to come and stay with me.
Tayla and I had a packed week. While I was at school, she went sightseeing with her school group and afterwards we would meet again. As well as this, we had the whole weekend to ourselves! Visiting Westfield shopping centre, going bowling with the other Australian students and hour-long conversations about how people in Australia don’t actually say “G’day mate”, made this a memorable and rather insightful week.
The whole week flew by in a flurry of excitement, Australian accents and laughs. This whole experience will most definitely be a memory that stays with me forever and I can say that I’ve made a friend across the globe. This is definitely an amazing experience and would love to do something like this again!
Mariya Sait (Year 12)
Recently, a handful of Australian students from Pine Rivers State High School embarked on a 23-hour flight from Brisbane to London. They spent a week sightseeing in London, getting over their jetlag before heading over to Amersham to meet their host families.
On the first day, we got to know our exchanges by meeting up together, settling in at home, watching television and playing board games. Their daily visits included a trip to Stonehenge and Reading (or as they said, “Reading” not “Redding”!), a visit to Warwick Castle and a day at our school. However, the best part was at the weekend, where we went on various trips such as bowling, ice skating, looking around Harrods, eating a traditional pub lunch, visiting the many London museums and walking in the Chilterns.
The day at school was like a normal day, but we brought our exchanges to all five lessons. They said it was interesting to see the differences and similarities between the two schools.
Highlights included eating out at Pizza Express in Amersham as a farewell meal and spending the day at school together.
The experience was an exciting one because, while the main objective was for the Australians to learn about England, we learnt a lot about their culture, and we now have possible contacts for a future visit to Australia.
Overall, the trip was not only beneficial to broadening our knowledge, but it was great fun, and I only wish we would be able to return the visit and stay with them!
Sebastian McGrath (Year 10)