Two lucky girls from St George’s in Ascot have just recently embarked upon a once-in-a-lifetime experience to spend a term at one of Australia’s top independent schools.
Alannah Horsewell from Ascot and Georgiena Woodward from Windlesham jetted off to St Catherine’s School in Melbourne, Australia (currently averaging a toasty 29 ℃) last month as part of an initiative brought in by Headmistress, Rachel Owens, who joined the school last year. When the duo return from Down Under at Easter, they will be joined by two girls from St Catherine’s who will spend the remainder of term at St George’s.
The two third-year girls initially wrote a letter of application and were interviewed by Governors, Mrs Owens and Housemistress van Ravenstein, who joined the girls to help them settle into their new surroundings.
14-year-olds Alannah and Georgiena will be boarders at St Catherine’s, attending lessons and taking part fully in the life of the school. Headmistress Owens commented: “This is an extraordinary opportunity for the girls to travel the world, explore new cultures and make new friends. We are thrilled to have made links with such a prestigious school in Australia and I am sure that the girls will come back with wonderful stories to tell. We are looking forward to welcoming the St Catherine’s girls to Ascot to give them a taste of life at a traditional British school.”
The girls enjoyed a few weeks of relaxing in the Australian summer heat and officially started at St Catherine’s school last Friday. Despite struggling to settle in the first few days, they soon become accustomed to their new surroundings.
Georgiena gives us a lowdown on the girls’ time there so far. She said: “The first few days after we arrived were a bit tricky with the time difference and homesickness but after three days I was absolutely fine.
“When we arrived in Australia it was still the school summer holidays so we got to go to the beach, go shopping and get to know some of my host sister’s friends. Then there was rowing camp; a hard five days but at the same time extremely fun! Even though we had never rowed before it didn’t matter as loads of people helped us.
“We had another week of holidays and then school started on Friday. It was a bit nerve racking but all the girls and staff were very caring and helped us find our way to classes. We now go rowing four times a week and get to finish school at 3:20, which is quite fun! The food is very nice here; it's all very fresh and the fruit is amazing. The weather is amazing. This trip is an experience of a lifetime!”