An exchange down under 

The opportunity to live and learn in an Australian school was offered to girls in the Fifth Form as one of the trips on offer as part of the Global Schools’ Exchange Programme and Sophie and Tilly jumped at the chance to go to Methodist Ladies College in Melbourne.

8 October 2019

At the beginning of the summer holidays, the two girls set off on their exchange trip to Australia and travelled independently to Melbourne where they were met by their host families and buddies at the airport. 

Sophie reports on her experience,  

When we arrived after the very long flight to Australia, it was wonderful to meet our host families at the airport and go home with them. We had a week before we started school at Methodist Ladies College (MLC) because it was their school holidays and so we did lots of sightseeing in Melbourne and my host family took me to the Great Ocean Road which was a few hours drive away. The coastline was amazing, and it was definitely one of the highlights of my time in Australia.  

While we were at MLC, we were also lucky enough to go on a residential trip for two nights with other exchange girls from France and Spain to Banksia Park where we did lots of really fun activities including kayaking and caving. I would definitely recommend this exchange trip to everyone as it was a fantastic opportunity to learn about another culture and make new friends across the world.

Tilly stayed with her host family nearby and said, 

“As the first week of our trip was the school holidays for MLC, my host family took me to visit Sydney which was just a short flight away from Melbourne. We went to the Sydney Opera House and climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge which was really fun. We also went to Bondi Beach which had stunning views – all in all, this trip was an amazing experience.  

In the second week, I went to school every day with my buddy starting at 8.15am in the morning and finishing at 3.30pm in the afternoon. The school day was quite different from Downe House because we only had four lessons each day and I studied subjects which I had not done before like Psychology, Legal Studies and Sports Science which were all very interesting. I went on many other trips including going to an animal sanctuary where we saw lots of kangaroos, koalas and other Australian animals.  

Sophie and I would like to thank Ms Akhtar and Mrs Cook from the Higher Education and Global Initiatives Department for making this once-in-a-lifetime experience possible and making the travel so easy for us.” 

Find out more about the Global Schools’ Exchange Programme at Downe House

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