It has been wonderful to see our International Exchange Programme resume this academic year, providing a handful of Upper Fourth students the incredible opportunity to experience a different school and culture from their own. So far, Amelie and Anya have travelled to Canada, and will soon be hosting their exchange partners from Montréal. You can read about some of what they got up to on their travels below.
Although we were both nervous when we arrived, we both felt instantly at ease due to the good grace our host families welcomed us with. When the time came, I put on my KEHS uniform and entered The Study, Montreal for the first time, and I was amazed by the comradery the students and teachers showed us. The Study is a much smaller school than KEHS, with only 400 students from Kindergarten all the way up to Senior School, and we were shocked by the classes of only 8-12 students. With their small size came a great sense of family, which we soon felt a part of. One of the highlights of the trip for me was visiting Ottawa with my partner Sofia and her amazing family, where they showed me parliament and we went on a guided tour of the city. Overall, I have made some of the best memories which I will cherish for the rest of my life. We both cannot wait to welcome Sofia and Sophie to England and show them all the best bits of Brum.
On our first day of school, we were welcomed with open arms by teachers and students alike, and the most noticeable part of the lovely environment was the overwhelming sense of companionship shared among the pupils. In addition to the brilliant educational experience, I had the opportunity to visit Vermont, where we went hiking and apple picking in the surrounding areas of Sophie’s cottage and enjoyed the serene and calm surroundings of the countryside. We also visited Quebec City where we saw parliament and many of Canada’s most attractive landmarks, as well as small cafes and restaurants that heavily contributed to the wonder of Canada itself. This showed me the amount that Canada truly has to offer, among its bustling main cities and simple countryside, it was truly such a wonderful opportunity that I am so glad to have been chosen for. It enhanced my independence skills massively, and was such an eye opening trip on how to take care of myself and make wonderful friendships in such a short time!
Meanwhile, Emily, Charlotte and Sienna have been wonderful hosts to their visitors from New Zealand, eagerly awaiting their opportunity to experience what school and family life is like on the other side of the world in the summer term! Connie, Maggie and Elle from Christchurch had some very kind words to say about their time at KEHS:
While our time here at KEHS on our exchange comes to an end, we think back on all the memories we have made. To creating new friendships, to the places we have got to go, and of course the magnificent school we have been able to attend. This has given us the incredible opportunity to experience what it’s like being at a school in England. We have loved being a part of the KEHS whanau (family) and will always treasure our time spent here. Thank you all for welcoming us with open arms and a kind heart.