At Downe House, your daughter will be encouraged to develop her intellectual curiosity about the world around her, and will be challenged, supported and encouraged to play her part as a global citizen. To equip your daughter with the confidence to navigate the complex and changing global community, we offer girls a wealth of opportunities to experience and learn about other cultures including:
Fifth Form (Years 10 and 11) girls are offered the truly unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the life of a girl of similar age, yet living in another country. With a choice of 16 partner schools in eleven countries spanning six continents, the programme really does offer a comprehensive range of experiences.
Living in this way offers numerous social, cultural and educational benefits and help girls to become more open and flexible, fearless and wise as well as more sensitive and understanding of other cultures. Read the girls’ stories on our Global Horizons Blog.
The benefits of the Global Schools’ Exchange Programme extend to the whole School community with returning girls sharing experiences through presentations in Assembly and welcoming girls from our partner schools into the boarding houses where they always receive a warm welcome and make a huge contribution to School life.
Find out more about the Global Schools’ Exchange Programme
“I have made many friends for life and the exchange was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. Everyone made us feel so welcome and I loved the relaxing Swedish lifestyle.”
Charlotte, UVI visited Campus Manilla Gymnasium, Stockholm
“In France, you don’t only improve academically, you also make close friends. It is a rare opportunity and a special one too.”
Danna, Lower Fourth (DH 2015)
“I will always treasure my time in France!”
Clara, Lower Fourth (DH 2016)
“Our daughter has had a wonderful time in France. She has absolutely thrived and returned with so many happy memories that she will treasure for her whole life.”
Parent, Summer Term 2018
“We were lucky to have the most generous hosts who had planned a great itinerary to introduce us to the traditions and religions of Northern India”
Charlotte H, LVI and Charlotte N, UV Global Exchange Students
“We went to so many cool places like Hobbiton and Rotorua and my host family were so sweet and welcoming. I would definitely recommend this to anyone thinking of doing it – it’s a really great experience!”
Emilia, LVI Global Exchange Student
Girls have many opportunities to travel abroad on trips organised by the School to support their learning with firsthand experiences; our History of Art students travelled to Rome and enjoyed a private tour of the Sistine Chapel; Spanish students travelled to Cadiz to immerse themselves in the language and culture; History students visited Ypres in Belgium to tour the battlefields and students spent time in Florence practising their spoken Italian. Recent Geography field trips have included Barcelona and Iceland and Sixth Form Politics students enjoyed a trip to visit the sights of Washington DC.
Our sports teams also regularly benefit from intensive training in sports camps in countries such as France or Portugal and go on competitive sports tours in Europe, the USA and South Africa. Last summer, lacrosse players set off for the USA; at Easter, girls enjoyed a netball tour to Disneyland Paris; next March, girls will be going to Portugal for an intensive tennis coaching camp; there are also regular ski trips to take part in the British Schoolgirls’ Races in Flaine and to Sestriere.
Global enrichment also comes in the form of Cultural days for specific year groups which focus on exploring the culture, history, language and food of a country. So far, these wonderful events have included Bab Al-Islam Day, America Day, India Day, Africa Day, China Day, Italy Day and Germany Day. The initiative has proved a great opportunity to embrace and celebrate the diversity of other countries and cultures and we often welcome guest speakers who share their knowledge and experiences with the girls.
Each boarding house has established strong and enduring links with an international charity and all the girls are encouraged to get involved in learning about the work of the charity and raising money to support their work. Housestaff organise a bi-annual group visit to the charity to offer practical assistance and to see for themselves the difference that their fundraising efforts have made.