South Africa Exchange July 2023

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On July 16th 2023 twelve year 10 students and their accompanying team of 4 staff set off from The Urswick School on the long journey to South Africa. Their destination was the beautiful Port St John’s in the Eastern Cape and our partner school: Ntafufu Senior Secondary School. This trip formed the first leg of the 3rd exchange project for The Urswick School, working as before in partnership with the charity Broaden Out Their Horizons. The trip was an amazing success. Linda Quinn -who has lead every BOTH exchange since the start of the charity’s work in 2014 said; ‘This was our first trip back to South Africa post Covid so it had been a long three and a half year gap since we last visited the area. We therefore had some trepidation about how it would all go. However, as soon as we set off it became apparent Team South Africa 2023 were going to be a very special group. Of the 5 UK groups we have taken to South Africa, they have been by far the best, most respectful, empathetic group we have ever taken! They just seemed to understand naturally the fundamental reasons why BOTH was founded. The students embraced every challenge and relished every moment in South Africa, making firm friendships and learning from each new experience.’

The transformative power of their experience is best summed up in the words of the students themselves. All of these quotes come from students who participated:

‘I have learned to be appreciative of what I have.’

‘This trip has exceeded my expectations by like a million!’

‘This experience has been life changing and I will carry it in my heart forever.’

‘Some of the lessons I have learned here will stay with me long after this trip.’

‘I am grateful to have been fortunate enough to learn about a different lifestyle.’

‘I will never forget all the wonderful people here who inspire me to be a better person.’

‘I loved my time here and it changed me for the better.’

The students are currently busy feeding back on their experiences to the whole school through a series of assemblies and will also speak at a more formal evening event on the 9th November. They are also continuing to fundraise in preparation for the return visit of 12 Ntafufu students next February. We look forward to sharing the news of this exciting adventure in a future newsletter.