Highlights 2006 Exchange

The landscape in Australia is very different to England. Most of Australia is desert but there is also rainforest, snowy mountains, outback, bush and lots more. Also everything in Australia is so much more spread out. The sky seems much higher and because Australia was well planned they’ve built out instead of up. As well as that you can drive longer distances quicker because the roads are bigger and there are less cars – H E

The area surrounding us in Australia wasn’t that different to what it is here. The main difference was that everything was brown. There was barely any green and when the Australians saw pictures of England they were amazed by how green it was. The city of Melbourne was really great. The Botanic Gardens were just like a big version of Valley Gardens except better because it wasn’t cold.

In Melbourne there are a lot of great places to shop. You could go to Chapel Street, Chadstone or just into the centre of Melbourne. You can easily get to all these places by bus, tram or train.

In Australia and surrounding Melbourne they had a lot of suburbs, which are kind of like a small version of Harrogate with houses and shops. All of the houses in Melbourne are really nice. There’re a lot of old houses and they are all different. Melbourne is a really great place and there is so much to do – M L

School in Australia was a lot more laid back, easy going and lots of fun. The lessons were always energetic and the discipline was more relaxed. For example, we were allowed to talk a lot more in class, and the teachers didn’t mind so much, and listen to i-pods during lessons. We also did different subjects such as photography and dance lessons throughout the week which was really fun! The main thing I noticed was that the teachers were a lot more relaxed in class compared to English ones. We were allowed to call them by their first names and we didn’t have to stand up for them as they entered the room. They were always nice and you could mess around in class and they wouldn’t stress too much. The teachers hardly set any homework compared to English teachers and the work in school was a lot easier and laid back – R B & A L

The Australian exchange was an amazing trip that I will never forget. It was really fun and exciting. The schools, families and atmosphere were so different from our own. It was an amazing experience. Everyone was really nice and wanted to know about England so, as a consequence, the questions never stopped!

Australia was an amazing country; the animals and bird were like nothing I’ve seen before. There were kangaroos and possums and kookaburras and liar birds that can imitate anything from a chain saw to human speech. The Australian way of life was much more laid back than ours. The schools were strict but still very laid back. There were more choices of lessons. People called their teachers by their first names. They did more assignments in Year 9 than we do. On the day that you have compulsory sport, everyone wears their sports kit all day.

The uniform was very different to ours as well. In summer they wear summer dresses. Carey wear yellow and white dresses with white long socks and blue V-necked sweaters and blazers. You can chose eight of the subjects you take. You can take subjects like ceramics, web page authoring and civics and the history of Australia.

My favourite part of my visit to Australia was when my host family took me to Port Douglas in Queens land and we went through the rain forest and to the Great Barrier Reef. It was absolutely amazing as it was the wet season. We got soaked but the reef was amazing, all the fish and coral pretty much glow under the water.

The Australian exchange was a great experience as you get to see an Australian family’s point of view. If I got the chance to go back I would take it without hesitation, as Australia is a beautiful and exciting place to be – B S

Going to Australia was one of the best things I’ve ever done. It is an awesome experience and highly recommendable!

Firstly, there’s the journey down. It is very long but there are plenty of people to talk to and it’s a great opportunity to make new friends from school. Then you arrive and get off the plane. Immediately you are greeted by a blast of hot air and you know you’re not in England anymore! The weather in Australia is obviously very different. It hardly ever rains and if it does it’s a warm down pour, just like having a big shower!

The schools in Australia are totally different from English schools. Everybody is so laid back and you hardly know you’re working until you look back on all you’ve done. The teachers are more like friends and there is very little just sitting at desks working!

Going to stay at somebody else’s house is a wonderful experience. It is a totally refreshing change of pace and a great way to try new things that your exchange partner does. It’s also so amazing to see a totally different country and all their famous sights. The whole atmosphere of Australia is so much calmer and more laid back. An all round life changing experience!! – H S

What School is Like

The lessons are a lot more laid back in Australia. You can call the teachers by either their first name or surname and everything is less formal. They have lessons where you design you own websites and computer games. They pick their options at the end of Year Eight. They have very good facilities for Food where you make something every week. The facilities are also excellent for PE, which is compulsory, but makes sure you have a hat or else you’re not allowed to do it. At our school, Carey, they only had one assembly a week, which lasted for an hour. You will probably be asked to do an assembly but don’t be scared because everybody is very nice and they won’t mind if you make a mistake! They have to do a compulsory sport, there are a lot to choose from and if you like you can do one. We would recommend doing a sport as your partner will have to and it gives you something to do whilst they are there. It is also a great way to make new friends! A lot of people get the tram to school, which is a good, cheap way of getting around – T H and S H

Being in an Australian Family was very different to an English one. In the family that I was in, I noticed that to save water, they used what they call the grey water system. This was where the family recycled used shower water (using a pump), and used it to water the lawn, and wash their clothes. It was an effective way of reducing water bill money.

In Australia, everyone was really nice, and laid back. They were all curious about England, and most people hated the idea of a below 10 degrees temperature.
At school, we never had to stand up whenever a teacher entered the room, and we got to call our teachers by their first name. An experience I had was to work in the school coffee shop for 5 days as work experience. This was really fun and I learned a lot from it.

As well as the coffee shop, lessons were a lot different in Australia than England. We did photography as a lesson for example, and for a while, twice a week, we would go to a community farm at Edendale, and have work experience there. Later on, I had to take the train to the centre of Melbourne to the other school building. This bit was great because we got so much freedom. At lunch times and break times, we could all free roam in the city, and do as we pleased, meaning we get similar freedom to the sixth formers in England.

If I had the choice to go back to Australia, I would easily go. It was very enjoyable, and well worth the money. I advise anyone that is adventurous to try this exchange – M G