Lifelong friendship blossoms through exchange programme

A SCHOOL exchange experience resulted in Durban’s Lara Horn and Tess Sloan from the UK becoming lifelong friends.

Lara, who attends St Henry’s Marist College, said she had heard about the exchange programme at the school and had always wanted to go.

“I applied for it for this year and was excited to have been accepted. I’m so happy I went for it, as I would never have met Tess otherwise,” she said.

Lara set off for Marist Sunninghill in Ascot, UK on 14 April and spent four-and-a-half weeks with Tess and her family.

“It was really different as it was an all-girls school and I come from a co-ed school. The girls were really nice to me though and it was interesting being with English girls and seeing what they do,” she said, adding that another thing she found different was the fact that the girls only did sport for half an hour during lunch, whereas in Durban they take sport for two hours after school.”

“I had a lovely time and we did a lot of things. Tess’s family treated me to a trip to Paris and another highlight was an outing to London. We did all the touristy things and I enjoyed the hot weather in Paris. It was freezing in England!” she said.

Just when Lara was getting used to being in England, she and Tess left for Durban.

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“I found Durban amazing. I was gobsmacked by the view from St Henry’s. Lara was so blase about it, saying she saw it every day! Everyone has been so friendly and really cared that I was in Durban,” said Tess.

She said hockey was big at the school, whereas netball was the most popular sport in her school.

“Hockey isn’t my thing but I gave it a go! The syllabus was quite similar but I will have to repeat some subjects when I return home as our year setup is different. Lara’s family was so sweet and funny and I just slotted in. They took me to see Moses Mabhida Stadium where I went on the Sky Car, to uShaka, the beachfront, a game lodge, Cape Town and to the Drakensberg, which I have really enjoyed,” she said.

The girls ended their stay together by going on an eight day camp which they thoroughly enjoyed.

“I am looking forward to going home as I miss my family, but I can’t imagine not having Lara around. It’s a weird feeling to go home without the person you have been with every day for the past two months. I’m hoping to see her again for Christmas, so we will see each other again,” said Tess.


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