Date: 26th September 2017
On Friday, we farewelled nine exchange students from St Margaret’s British School for Girls in Concón, Chile. The girls are flying to Wellington for a few days and then returning home after spending three very busy weeks in Christchurch. From skiing up Mt Hutt and seeing snow for the first time, to tech workshops and learning about 3D printing at our Centre for Innovation, dolphin spotting in Akaroa to feeding penguins at the Antarctic centre, visiting Hanmer Springs and exploring Christchurch; they’ve certainly had a whirlwind tour.
The girls aged between 15 and 17 years old are in Year 11 or Second Senior, as they call it, and all agree that this experience has been life changing. They have gained friends for life and loved both the experience of being welcomed into a St Margaret’s host family and especially the opportunity to experience life as a boarder, as boarding is very uncommon in Chilean schools.
There have certainly been a few challenges and hurdles they’ve had to overcome along the way, from homesickness, full emersion in an English-speaking country to jetlag and getting use to the ‘Kiwi way’ but they are incredibly grateful for the opportunity and say they would do it again in a heartbeat if they could! The girls agree that they’ve all learnt so much over the past three weeks but equally have loved having the opportunity to help our St Margaret’s girls learn Spanish, teach their new friends, teachers and their host families popular Chilean phrases and colloquialisms and especially the chance to share their Chilean culture.
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