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Westville Boys’ High School, Cape Town, South Africa

10 Feb - 04 Mar 2018

4A Lam Pui Chung, Brendan
4B Chung Kwun Hang, Henry

We were so thrilled when we heard that we could go to South Africa for exchange, as the country is so far from us and we know little about it. But we were also a little nervous and worried whether we could adapt to such a new environment. Fortunately, the trip turned out to be very meaningful and unforgettable as we both benefited a lot from it.

Westville Boys High School is quite different from SPCC in terms of school life and activities. The school starts at 8am and they will have lessons continuously with only a 5-minute break between lessons. The school ends at 2:30pm and students begin their extensive sports training. Almost everyone participates in at least one sport and they have training sessions twice a week so that they can excel at that sport. The school stresses on the holistic well-being and allrounded development of students and provides them with drama, art, engineering and design to develop their different interests. In general, sports and arts play an important part in their school life.

People there are very kind and friendly. Despite looking different and new to them, we felt very welcomed during our stay there. We were often showered with warm greetings like “cheers” and even mandarin “ni hao”. Some of them taught us African slangs and were keen to introduce their culture to us. That really meant a lot to us and soon we became part of the school and made many life-long friends.

Lifestyle in South Africa is very much different from ours. They are more laid-back. While Hong Kong citizens always have to rush to work early in the morning, South Africans begin their work after driving their child to school and taking a full breakfast. Having flexible work hours, they can go out during the day to pick their children from school or take their friends to beaches. Their typical work day ends at around 5pm.

Moreover, South Africa is a country for sports. During our stay, we tried water-skiing, water polo, swimming, canoeing, and watched rugby competitions. Sports is in their everyday life, no matter how busy they are in preparing for tests, exams, or even when they have performances every night in a week. They would even wake up at 4am to run before going to school.

We want to say thank you from the bottom of our hearts to our host families for taking good care of us during our stay and for making us feel as part of the family. And a big thankyou to both schools for giving us this once-in-a-lifetime exchange opportunity.