Published on: 29 August 2019

The School’s Beyond Queenslea Drive program, provides Year 10 students with the opportunity to travel to another country as an exchange student. Following, are three amazing stories from students who have recently returned from South Africa.

“I remember pulling up to Michaelhouse, the boarding school where I would live for the next two months and being completely bewildered at the sheer size of the school. The campus was immense with many sporting fields, two pools, a dam and a golf range, plus a huge reserve containing zebras and bucks.”

“During my stay the school organised many activities for the exchange boys such as hot air ballooning, shark cage diving, zip lining, going to a South African boys’ choir, helping disadvantaged schools and visiting a game reserve. Within a week, we were fully immersed in the school’s culture, whether that be screaming the war chants on inter-school game days, throwing boys into the school pond on their birthday or simply hanging out chatting and laughing.”

“This South African exchange was a real eye opener for me. I learnt what it was like to live away from my parents and what people are dealing with in third-world countries. It was the best two months of my life, and I would recommend it to anybody who gets the chance.”

Lachlan Hill, Year 10

“Living in an isolated all boys boarding school in the Drakensberg Mountains for a term was a unique, eye-opening experience I’ll never forget. Immediately we were forced to adapt to new living conditions, people and a completely new environment. We immersed ourselves in the traditional inter-school war cry chants supporting their beloved first hockey and rugby teams and saw how much school pride meant to them.”

“Outside the boarding house, we visited friend’s houses and farms and had many iconic South African braai’s (which is like a BBQ). A highlight was seeing the animals at a game park reserve.”

“This truly was an amazing opportunity! In one term I grew as a person, I learnt to become more independent, aware of the outside world and be more grateful for where we live and the opportunities we have.”

 Jack MacKinnon, Year 10

“Upon my arrival in Cape Town I was greeted warmly by my exchange family with a braai, a traditional African barbeque. A few days later I commenced my first day at The Diocesan College, better known as Bishops.”

“At the end of term Bishops had an inter-house Eisteddfod competition which consisted of public speaking, debating and drama, as well as art, photography and a variety of musical performances. The Eisteddfod concluded with a performance similar to our House Shout.”

“Like Christ Church, sport at Bishops was compulsory and there was always a great vibe and school spirit at the games.”

“My days off were filled with a plethora of exciting activities such as zip lining, feeding elephants, going on a trip along the Garden Route with other international exchange students and hanging out with friends. Having Table Mountain as the backdrop to the school and where I lived was magic. Several trips were made to the top!”

“My trip was fun and exciting but also educational. I urge those thinking about exchange to consider South Africa as an option, you won’t regret it.”

Callum Parramore, Year 10