Global Exchange trip to India

4 November 2023

Hear from Daisy and Anna about their time spent in Dehradun, India where they attended Welham Girls’ School.

In the October half term, we were fortunate enough to go to India on Global Exchange.

After a very long flight (spent watching lots of movies!) we were met by our buddies Kaavyaa and Tvisha and their mothers. We immediately got to experience the crazy Delhi traffic before going out to see the tranquil Lotus Temple. What a contrast! This temple is dedicated to the Baha’i faith. We had to take our shoes off before we entered as to not do so is seen as disrespectful and dirty. We also saw a banyan tree which is the national tree of India.  

Whilst in India, we did lots of shopping! We visited an Indian craft market where we bought Indian skirts and lots of earrings. We then went out for a delicious dinner where we also saw some traditional Indian wedding dresses which were beautiful. 

To end an amazing day, we visited the Qutub Minar, which is a tower that was built in the 13th century and had the cricket score from the very competitive India/ Pakistan game projected on it.

One of our favourite things in India was the food and we really enjoyed trying a whole new cuisine with food from the north and south of India. Some of our favourites were; Butter Chicken, which was so spicy it made us cry, Pani Pori, Dosa, Maggi which is Indian pot noodles, Chai, Jaalebi which was very sweet but our favourite was the fresh coconut which was so refreshing. We also made Moduk which is an Indian sweet in food tech and aloo pouri which is a potato curry served with poori which is a deep-fried bread that burnt Anna whilst she was making it! 

We then made our way to Agra. On our way we stopped off at the temple of Krishna and our host families told us all about him whilst we walked around. 

Despite the 5am wake up, the Taj Mahal was the highlight of our trip! We had a very interesting talk from the guide before entering and got to learn the history of this heritage site. Our host families kindly bought us traditional Indian clothes called camisas which were very comfy. We got to see how the precious stones in Taj Mahal were carved to make their specific shapes and we even got to try it although it was definitely harder than it looked. We also got to buy a souvenir made of the same marble.

I thoroughly enjoyed the exchange. I learnt a lot about religion and the way people live in India – it was very eye opening!
– Anna, Upper Fifth

It was now time to go to our exchange school – Welham School for Girls. We were both in different houses and in dorms of 16 which were very fun and when we arrived we immediately felt welcome as the pupils had decorated our sleeping areas.

I think this trip has made me lots more confident. I was away from everything I knew so had to socialise with new people and I really enjoyed it!
– Daisy, Upper Fifth

We tried lots of creative classes whilst we were there such as art, pottery and rangoli making which were so fun –  but I don’t think our creative talent showedWe also learnt how to play the Tabla which is a type of Indian drum that we found very hard.

We did lots of sport such as tennis, cheerleading and karate, wore the traditional Indian school clothes which we found very comfy and watched lots of Bollywood movies. Our favourites were delhi belly and jab we met.  

The school also took us on some trips, the first to Mussourie, which was the nearby hill station where we visited the George Everest base camp which had an amazing view of the Himalayas. We hiked up to the top and ate maggi and chai and went around the museum which was very interesting. Later we went into the town more where we did more shopping and tried lots of East Asian food which was delicious. 

We also took a day trip to visit the Forestry Research Institute and visited a Tibetan monastery where we got shown around and learnt loads about the faith and spoke to some monks.  

I learnt a lot of Indian history, such as colonisation. I have seen a completely different culture and lifestyle to mine in England.
– Daisy, Upper Fifth

We came home from India with our minds buzzing and our suitcases bulging. It was the trip of a lifetime, and we would highly recommend it to anyone thinking about going on the global exchange programme.

We want to thank Miss Adams and Miss Aktar and the Global Exchange team for organising this amazing experience – and forgiving us when we forgot to text in the airport! We would also like to thank Welham and our host families for being so accommodating and showing us just how incredible and diverse India is. 

[My daughter] has become more independent and has a better understanding of how other people live. She enjoyed the experience more than she ever could’ve imagined. She has come back with tales of places, activities, food, culture and people. It has been an experience she will never forget and has pushed her out of her comfort zone.
– DH Parent

Find out more about the Global Schools’ Exchange Programme here.

 

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