2016 Exchange Programme
Returning exchange students.
Andrea Jury reflects on her exchange to Australia.
I wanted to go on exchange because I have been at Roedean for my entire school career and was curious to experience a different learning environment. I also hoped to learn more about another country from a local perspective and make lots of friends. My time at Ballarat Grammar School in Victoria, Australia, gave me the opportunity to do all of these things. I was lucky enough to be a boarder during my stay and felt at home almost immediately. There is a great sense of community within the house and the girls are given a lot of freedom and independence. Most afternoons were spent playing sport, going for runs around Lake Wendouree down the road or browsing the nearby shops.
I was also able to try new subjects such as Printmaking and Sport Science, represent the Senior girls’ hockey team and participate in the Inter house chorals event. All of these activities were extremely worthwhile and gave me the chance to experience many things that form part of life at Grammar. As a member of Round Square, the school hosts more than 30 exchange students every year and I was fortunate enough to make friends from France, USA, Canada, Jordan and Japan.
For the last week of my exchange, I did work experience at Yarrawonga College in my exchange sister’s hometown. I spent most of my time with the Grade 0 classes and enjoyed teaching them more about South Africa and helping them with various class activities. It was also interesting to see how another school operates in contrast to both Roedean and Ballarat Grammar.
My host family, the Henwoods were extremely welcoming and kindly went out of their way to make sure I experienced as much of their beautiful country and its culture as possible. From admiring the Sydney Opera House, and going to footy matches in Melbourne, to visiting a replica mining town in Ballarat, and exploring the small town of Yarrawonga alongside the breathtaking Lake Mulwala, I don’t think I could possibly have got a more all-rounded perspective of Australia as a whole. I would like to thank my parents, Mrs Williams, and Mrs Murray for giving me the opportunity to go on exchange- it was the experience of a lifetime and I will cherish the memories forever!
Ella Dougherty and Cate Mitchel reflect on their exchange in India.
Our exchange to India was an incredible eye-opening experience. Before leaving South Africa, we were both over the moon about going to one of the most exotic countries in the world – and India did not let us down. There was never a dull moment: it was a sensory feast of sights and sounds, as we visited some of the most beautiful places and monuments on Earth. We saw the Taj Mahal in Agra, the Amber Fort Jaipur, Qutr Minar in Dehli and the Victoria memorial in Kolkata, to name a few.
While we sometimes found India overwhelming, we were lucky enough to experience a completely different culture which has greatly widened and changed our perspectives. For both of us, the world is suddenly a larger and more exciting place then we ever could have imagined.
We went through both difficult and very rewarding experiences that we have grown from and that we will remember and cherish for the rest of our lives. We are very grateful to Mrs Murray, Mrs Williams and our parents for making this unforgettable adventure possible.
Thank you also to our partners, Bhawana and Aanchal and their very generous families as well as to Mrs Malik who took such great care of us at VDJS.
Round Square exchanges: Exchange news.
Danielle Henwood from Ballarat, Australia, reflects on a most successful exchange with her host sister, Andrea Jury:
I wanted to come on exchange because I had never been overseas before and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to immerse myself in a completely different culture from that which I am normally accustomed to, and it has been one of the best decisions I have ever made.
At Roedean I’ve enjoyed so many things, from being a part of the tennis team, the UV camp to Babanango, participating in Community Service, to taking subjects I normally wouldn’t take. Also listening to all the Aussie-accent impersonations was quite interesting, but there are quite a few people I reckon have got the hang of it now!
What I’ve learned from being at Roedean is to be grateful for the time my school back in Australia starts at. I thought starting school at 9 was early, little did I know, I would be expecting a 5:30 a.m. wake-up call every morning when I came here. I also remember, on my first day, sitting in on a period of Afrikaans for the first time. Now that was an interesting experience! I’m sure it would have been good if I could have just understood one word of what Mrs Le Roux was saying! Since then, though I’ve come far in my knowledge of the Afrikaans vocabulary, I can safely say that my time here has been pretty lekker.
South Africa overall has been absolutely amazing, and I’m so lucky to have gone to all the places I’ve been to. From Cape Town, to Durban, to a game reserve, I really have seen it all, and am grateful to my host family for giving me all the wonderful opportunities to explore this country. So, thank you so much to the Jury Family: Nicola, Brett and Michael, you have been so accommodating and I really have started to feel as if I’m at home. Thanks, Andrea, for being a great host sister, and I can’t wait for you to come to Australia soon!
Of course I have to thank the UV’s a well. Every single one of you has contributed to making my time here an experience to remember. Your friendliness is something I will cherish and I will miss you all so much when I leave! I’d also like to thank Sarah Martinson, because you were a familiar face around the school. When I first arrived, you answered any questions I had, so thank you for that!
I would also like to thank Mr Hanlon, the Ex-change coordinator at Ballarat Grammar, and everyone else who assisted me back home, such as my parents and my trusty travel-agent. I would also like to thank all the teachers at Roedean, as you have all helped so much, and I’m entirely grateful for that. Special thanks to Mrs Murray for all your help with getting me here. It is greatly appreciated. Thank you to Mrs Williams for giving me the opportunity to come to Roedean. Thank you, Roedean as a whole, for making my experience such a memorable one.
Nathalie Franke from Salem reflects on her exchange with her host sister Kirsten Boyce.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
After the choice had been made that my exchange was going to take place in South Africa, I began to occupy myself more intensivly with the country. The first search results such as: “What did South Africa use before Candles? -Electricity.” ,follwed by satirical news about politics and finacials could not exactly be called calming.
My initial motivation to go on exchange was to gain experiences, as much diversity as possible and to find myself as an idividual in the big picture. So where, if not in the Rainbow Nation, would the entire spectrum of cultures be provided?
My school in southern Germany is called Schule Schloss Salem, and what is remarkable about my school is the fact that we are one of the eight Round Square Foundation Schools. Therefore, we focus particularly on the Ideals. In one of our services, the sustainability service, I heard for the first time about Load Shedding. To be sure, these measure affected you as well because one needs electricity to get up at half past five in the mornig and study until eleven in the evening what leads me to my next point- the academic excellece at Roedean.
Your are already significant in your methods of mastering the daily challenges with plenty of engagement and ambition. And considering all the academic pressure, it is even more exceptional how warm and welcoming students and teachers always behaved towards me regardless of whether it was during Community Service, Interact or even during my quite complicated and eventually failed first and last hockey session. Everyone always had a few nice words: for instance “Howisit?”, even though it took me two days to understand what it was supposed to mean.
Next to the activities I will particularly remember a few special events such as the unifying Foundation Day and House Night as much as the humorous Houseplays that proved again how a strong community influences the quality of a school.
Nevertheless, it wasn’t only the Roedean-Family who made this experience special but also my host family, Inge, Peter and Kirsten Boyce, who afforded me so many various impressions of South Africa. Their general knowledge always provided relevant facts that supported my understanding of politics and culture enormously. In addition, their understanding and consideration helped me particularly over the tough times of homesickness and nostalgia.
Excuses to all Joburgers, but I must admit that my fantastic trip to Cape Town represents the outstanding highlight of my exchange. Standing on top of Table Mountain, climbing the 120 steps of Cape Point, watching the stunning sunset above the Atlantic Ocean and being surrounded by a scenery of winefarms in front of overwhelming mountains is simply unique. That experience strengthened once more the impression of the beauty of this coutry, but also the massive contrast between rich and poor.
Although not everybody mentioned can be present at the moment, I want to express my great thanks to Kirsten and her parents, as well as to my school for the financial support, the whole of my family and of course all Roedean members for my memorable time. Awe!