Tammy and Clotilde (LV) share their experience spent at Beaulieu College in Johannesburg, South Africa.

15 April 2023

We arrived at Heathrow Airport and checked in together for our flight. We flew overnight, and after a 12 hour flight, landed in Johannesburg!

We met up with Miss Mvumbi, the teacher who would be looking after us during our stay, feeling a mix of nerves and excitement, and she took us to straight to the school.

Once there, we met up with our buddies, Chichi and Phemi, and got a tour of the school as well as meeting lots of their friends.

Beaulieu College is a mixed school and finishes early at 2.30 pm. At school we experienced Afrikaans lessons and their version of Maths, English, Science and much more which was a great experience as we were able to understand how they learn and get taught.

After school. We all met up and played various activities such as netball. We also learnt a dance, which we had to practise for the end of year production.

The school had organised for us to attend a camp. We went from Monday to Thursday and did many team building activities and competitions in groups. On one of the days, we went on a six hour hike through the African bush.

Over the Easter weekend, my host family took me to their church for Good Friday. The church service was six hours long and consisted of dancing, singing and preaching. It was very interesting to hear their mix of languages such as Zulu and Afrikaans and I met many people whilst I visited the church, who were all very welcoming. My host family also took me to the Sun City Resort which is a main tourist attraction, and we went to the Valley of Waves.

Clotilde: I visited the apartheid museum and other parts of Soweto to explore where Mandela lived and worked. In Soweto, I was able to try a gota which is a very common type of sandwich there. It consists of vegetables, any meat and chips. I went to the Mall of Africa to do some shopping and have lunch. I was also able to go to the cinema that evening which was quite different. My host family also took me to visit the market where I tried lots of different African foods.

The last week came around very quickly and our stay was nearly over however, we still experienced much more African culture and attractions for our final week.

Tammy: My host family kindly took me to the Zoo of Pretoria which was very engaging and interesting as we took a golf cart around the site to see the different African animals. I also visited the Mall of Africa, church and many restaurants where I tried more traditional African dishes and met up with many of my host families close friends.

Clotilde: On the final week, I was able to go to Pretoria to meet some of Phemi’s family including her cousins, grandparents and some other family friends. On the final day, I went to Gold Reef City which is a big theme park in Soweto.

After three weeks we said our goodbyes to our host families who had looked after us so well. We have both learnt many things whilst doing the exchange programme and have met great people that we will continue to stay in contact with forever. Beaulieu College gave us a wonderful experience.

We would like to also thank Mrs Adams, Miss Akhtar and Miss West for giving us this opportunity and organising everything.

Clotilde’s final thoughts:

I made the most out of every experience and I have gained a lot of confidence. I was able to do something that I never thought I would do alone!

Tammy’s final thoughts:

I now understand how other people live in their everyday lives – a huge contrast with my own. I learnt courage and resilience.

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

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