Published on: 7 November 2019

Each year, Year 10 boys at Christ Church welcome the opportunity to go ‘Beyond Queenslea Drive’ and discover a world much different to their own.

The student exchange program saw a group of our boys attend St Mark’s School in Southborough, Massachusetts and Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville, Tennessee during Term 3.

Here are some accounts from their personal experiences:

“To leave your home and culture, and embark on a journey to a faraway, unknown place is never easy; but travelling to Boston, Massachusetts for an exchange to St. Mark’s was well worth the effort.”

“St Mark’s is a private boarding school that prides itself on being ‘intentionally small, thinking big’, in the leafy town of Southborough.”

“The student body welcomed us with open arms, into their homes, cultures and lives. Everyone wanted to know about Australia. They asked if we rode kangaroos, if everyone was immune to snake venom and even had the audacity to ask about the Great Emu War. But we were just as curious about the ‘Land of the Free’ and the people who live in it.”

“As Boston was the epicentre of the American revolution, it is unlike other American cities, with a rich and bountiful history. This aspect of US history is significant to all Americans but is the life blood that defines Massachusetts.”

“The Boston exchange, without doubt, is one of the greatest opportunities a Year 10 student at Christ Church can take. So, if you are a hopeful and inquisitive Year 9, take the plunge. You won’t regret it.”

Jeffrey Shenton (Year 10)

“I have recently returned from attending Montgomery Bell Academy in the lively city of Nashville, Tennessee. Students at the school were overwhelmingly cordial and supportive, usually engaging in banter about Australia’s stereotypes and slang.”

“While I was there, I chose some of my subjects such as Studio Art, Algebra and Chemistry, and also studied compulsory US History and English. Learning about the nation’s intricate past in US History class was particularly interesting. Through the school’s rigorous sports program, I had opportunities to participate in American Football, Riflery and Cross Country.”

“While I was there, I was lucky enough to experience Homecoming, a school event which centres around a Friday night football game against a major rival. The energy amongst the crowd and players during the game was surreal; it seemed like something out of a movie. Homecoming also involved a group dinner and dance which were very enjoyable. I also experienced many activities outside of school; attending an NFL and ice hockey game, wake-boarding on the lake, soaking up Nashville’s downtown music scene, visiting the space centre and much more.”

“Overall, my exchange experience was phenomenal; I experienced the American schooling system, participated in local activities and made many lifelong friends.”

James Marshall (Year 10)

Interested in finding out more about Beyond Queenslea Drive? Click here or contact Mr Neil Saggers for any queries regarding the program.