Exchange overview from Yusuf Choonara, our RS exchange pupil from South Africa

16 Dec 2016

My first week on exchange.

It's been a first week that was not at all what I thought it would be, but that is in no way a bad thing. Although I did have some challenges like strategizing on how to not run out of socks and trying new and fairly unfamiliar food, I've settled in fast and already feel like I'm one of the family in my house, Granville. Meeting new and interesting people everyday is a venture that has so many endless, unexpected turns which makes it all the more exciting. It's been a first time experience for a few things such as full boarding and traveling to a new country alone. I have quite enjoyed the added responsibilities and freedom I have been afforded. I now have my own school schedule and go to class everyday, learning and relearning things everyday. I look forward to experiencing even more as my time goes on and will continue on with a positive and inquisitive attitude.


Exchange - Overview.

When first approached about going on exchange to Malaysia, I was conflicted. Conflicted due to the fact that I would be the first of my school to attend ECiM and that I had no idea what to expect from my time there. After doing hours and hours of research, I was not any better. Nothing could truly prepare me for the life changing experience I was soon to immerse myself into. My exchange was to be a short and sweet one, due to the fact that I had to return promptly for Grade 10 camp. My first week was a huge learning experience. It was a first in many respects for me. My first time alone in a different country, my first boarding experience and my first co-educational school experience. I was dropped into a busy school schedule filled with all sorts of new opportunities and activities. I participated in things like, inter house basketball, a sport I'd never played before and other new sports like badminton and ultimate frisbee. Where, at times my ignorance and inexperience were quite laughable. In the classroom, I was exposed to a vastly different environment where I think had I stayed longer, I'd have thrived. The brilliant teachers I had my respective classes with were all engaging and caring for each of the students, including me. Their commitment to their students and granting them the best possible education was special. They made me feel like I was one of their own and I can not thank them enough for that. Over my next couple of weeks I fortified friendships with the people I met and created new ones everyday. The people I met over my trip are absolutely unforgettable and will stay close to my heart for time to come. I'll never forget them and our ‘adventures’. I want to keep in touch with as many people as I can, for as long as I can. Every day at ECiM was something special it was filled with laughs, ramen noodles and lots of love. This experience of mine was one that I wish could have lasted forever and I did not experience a single moment in which I felt as if I did not belong. I will definitely try my best to visit again, to try and revisit the many places and people that changed me so much. I will forever be grateful to RoundSquare and in particular Mrs Kuster for making this dream of mine become a reality that was sweeter than I could have ever imagined. I urge all who are able to, to apply for exchange as this experience is once in a lifetime and will stay with you forever. Who knows, perhaps you'll even come to South Africa. Once again, many thanks and all my love to the people that made my time so in your home undeniably the best time in my life so far.