Our time here has been unforgettable and we can’t thank our host families enough. Within the first two weeks of being in the UK we were lucky enough to experience snow...in summer! This was extremely exciting, as we have never experienced snow outside a ski resort. It was hard adjusting to a seven-hour day as we are used to finishing school at 3pm; however, the school lunches definitely made it worthwhile. We have enjoyed going to sports clubs and involving ourselves in school life.
School has been really different over here, as we are used to 80 minute lessons. We loved taking part in new lessons that we haven’t taken before, such as Latin, textiles, food and nutrition, Life matters, RS and Spanish, although our vocabulary just consists of ‘hola’ and ‘hasta la vista’ which we found out was an actual term, not just from a movie.
Going to the Battlefields of Belgium and France was a truly amazing experience. At first, we were shocked at how quick and easy it was to travel in Europe, going to three countries in one day. Seeing the sheer numbers of graves in such seemingly peaceful countryside was astounding, and made us reflect and remember. Taking a statistic that you hear in class and comparing it to actually seeing the resting places of these men absolutely shocked us and this trip will forever be embedded in our memories.
We both feel like we have almost visited all the major sports venues in England. Over half term Celia experienced a rugby match of England Vs Wales at Twickenham. It was very exciting although half the time she had no idea what was happening. Eve also got a tour of Lords, something she loved as she is obsessed with cricket. We also had a tour around Wimbledon and Stamford Bridge, and we both experienced Wembley stadium for the summertime ball!
We would like to thank everyone who have helped us during our visit, especially to the staff that have taught us, as we know it is not the most convenient thing to have new students in your class when you are trying to prepare for exams! All of the girls here have been super nice, so helpful and we have had so many fun times and made amazing memories with you all. If you’re ever visiting Melbourne, please let us know!
Our time here has gone so quickly yet we have experienced so many different aspects of life in England. We are looking forward to trips back to England in the future and we know we are so lucky to have so many connections with all the girls here. We look forward to welcoming the next batch of lucky exchange girls to our St Catherine’s in Melbourne next year.
Celia Cody and Eve Rayner
Feedback from girls and parents from previous years
From a St Catherine’s Exchange Family: The entire family has enjoyed the exchange and would whole-heartedly endorse the exchange programme. Our daughter benefited enormously. It offers the opportunity to experience many new frontiers: visiting Sydney, surfing in warm waters, living in a city and developing lasting friendships across the globe are all an integral part of the exchange. However, by far the most important ingredient, is the positive experience she acquired by living with a different family and coming through the odd moment of feeling a long way from home. There can be little better for building the self-confidence of a thirteen year old. The programme requires a high level of commitment from the family but this is repaid many times over by the positive benefits for your daughter. We were initially unsure as to whether the exchange was a good idea, but were persuaded otherwise by our daughter and she was correct.