My exchange to Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School, Western Australia.
October 1, 2014 was an exciting day for me as I headed to Toronto Pearson Airport for what was going to be a nine week academic school exchange, to Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School in Bunbury, Western Australia. My journey took me via Hong Kong and then on to Perth, Western Australia.
Travelling on my own was an exciting start to the journey. I had no problems with customs and Hong Kong airport was beautiful. Arriving in Perth, I was met by my host mom, Merri James and Luke (my exchange partner). Right from the start I felt comfortable and almost at “home.” Six weeks into my stay I still feel very much at home.
I was fortunate enough to have planned to arrive during an Australian school holiday and my host family (Merri, Steve, Luke, Matthew and Joel), had arranged for us to go camping and see some of Western Australia. It was a great way to settle in, get to know my host family and experience the Australian way of life. We surfed, spent many hours hiking, swimming and generally having a great time. I saw many of the animals that I had wanted to - kangaroo’s, dolphins, the occasional shark and my very first quokka.
I celebrated my 15th birthday two weeks into my stay and the first day I started school. We had a lovely dinner, and my host family made me feel like one of the family. To school, I chose to wear the Bunbury school uniform which was provided for me - everyone welcomed me and I felt totally at home. I had not wanted to miss out on my math, so before arriving in Bunbury , we had set up private tutoring . My exchange host coordinator Mrs. Elliot guided me in subject choice and I chose, English, Society and the Environment, Food Tech, Japanese, Science and Religion and Aquatics, (which entails going surfing twice a week!). I am glad that I chose different subjects to the one that I do at LCS as it really enabled me to experience a completely different academic experience. I have also joined the cricket team and fitness club.
The school is beautiful and set on 33 acres and on the ocean; because of the warm climate the school buildings are scattered around the school property. The teachers are really helpful and made me feel comfortable.
This has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I feel that I have grown as a person and whilst I have still been in an amazing environment, I truly appreciated what LCS and my family do for me. I would whole heartily encourage students to take advantage of the opportunity to experience a school exchange. It is fun and in so many ways a life changing experience.
See more photos on the LCS website.