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Down Under on the Australian Exchange!

17 October 2017

On July 10th, four girls from Year 9, Harriet, Molly, Olivia and Tatiana, departed from Heathrow. What followed? 24 hours of travelling to the other side of the world!

We arrived at Sydney airport at 5pm and met our new ‘sisters’ for the first time. The following week was still the winter holidays for the Australian girls, so we did many amazing things, and got to know our exchanges.

Molly and her exchange Claire went to Adelaide, in South Australia, for the week, there they saw a wild mob of kangaroos, went to a wildlife reserve and held a koala – called Prickles – and hand fed wallabies and kangaroos.

Tatiana and Olivia and their exchanges, Aisling and Charlie, went to the Blue Mountains, where they took in the beautiful scenery and got to know the other exchanges at the Australian school. Harriet and her exchange Mia went to Cairns, in Queensland.

After the week of holidays, school started at St Catherine’s. There we experienced new subjects and new ways of learning and made loads of new, incredible, and generous friends. Here are some differences that we noticed between RHS and St Caths; they call water fountains ‘bubblers’, flip-flops ‘thongs’, and trainers ‘runners’. They have the opportunity to study Japanese; they have 2 periods before ‘recess’ and then one after lunch, and in addition, every Wednesday they have a free afternoon and can go home after lunch! It is also obligatory for the girls to bring their own packed lunches from home, and eat them outside.

It’s also compulsory for the students to wear traditional Panama hats with their uniform, if you don’t, you get a ‘blue slip’, which is very similar to a debit.

Sydney is a naturally beautiful place, with gorgeous architecture, as seen with the Opera House of course, and extremely kind and amiable people; the city is filled with thriving beaches, stunning gardens and of course, the breath-taking harbour, which we got the chance to see first-hand, by climbing the Harbour Bridge near the Opera House. Climbing the Bridge was such a surreal experience for all of us, and was only one of all the amazing chances we were given on this exchange, such as going to an NRL game and watching some of the country’s best players play and getting close to creatures unique to Australia, like baby kangaroos!

This trip was an amazing and unreal experience. We all gained so many things from it, like independence, confidence and most importantly lots and lots of new global connections.

Thank you so much to everyone who made this trip possible, especially Mrs Dellar, who endured the long flight with us, and put up with us the entire trip! Thank you so much!

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