15 Argentinian students and their two accompanying staff members from Academia Argüello have spent time on our campus and with their host families for the past two weeks. Tomorrow we will be bidding them a sad farewell. As always, it has been a colourful and action-packed time with our South American friends, and we look forward to the opportunity of visiting them in Córdoba next year!
Oakhill’s exchange programme started in 2013 when an exchange partnership was established with Gordonstoun School in Scotland. The programme has since expanded and continues to grow as we strive to establish a wider global network of exchanges. Exchange is important, even crucial. It forces students out of their comfort zone in a manner that is exciting rather than threatening. It brings them into contact with different people, cultures, systems and countries. They experience the selection process, the sometimes mind-numbing yet vital bureaucratic requirements, saying goodbye to loved ones, the thrill of the unknown, missing home but learning to manage their emotions, forging new friendships, and returning to share their adventure. They learn of and from others, but also of themselves.
The Argentinian exchange started in 2015, and has thus far been a “one-way” exchange, with Argentinian students from Academia Arguello in Cordoba, Argentina visiting Oakhill in September. This is also a private school and is in many ways similar to Oakhill. We are looking forward to our first mutual exchange next year during the April holidays, when a group of Grade 10 and 11 students will visit Argentina. They will stay with host families, and will have the opportunity to travel for a few days as part of the exchange.