CCGS Australian Exchange – Conor O’Brien (TY)

Glenstal Australian Exchange 2016

Central Coast Grammar School Exchange

On the 17th of January Mark Walsh,Reece Sweeney McGrath and I traveled to Australia via Dubai. The flights were 23 hours long with a 2 hour stopover in Dubai. It was a fantastic experience but also a grueling one as 30 hours of travel door to door is never fun.

I arrived in Sydney Airport at 7am Australian time but my body was still running at Irish time so it was a fight to stay awake for my first day but I did manage to go to the beach and have my first experience of cricket (which did not go well). But after my first day I got into the last week of the Australian Schools summer holidays going camping and swimming. I had a round of golf with Huge! kangaroos as an added hazard. It was a wonderful time full of new experiences.     

On the first of February, I started school and as with any school in its first few days, it was a bit hectic with timetables constantly being changed and teachers preparing for the coming year. I was placed into Year 11, the 5th year equivalent in Australia with the rest of the exchanges who were at the school which included fellow Glenstallion, Mark Walsh and I as well as with Canadian and Japanese exchange students.

School was very similar to school at home though it was much more formal with full blazer and tie, uniform. There was ‘Service’ every Thursday which included prayers, a musical recital and a word from the principal or head of senior college. The entire school of 1,200 students would attend and it went on for far too long.

The worst part of my exchange was leaving partly due to the impending flights but mainly due to leaving everything I had become so accustomed from the heat having a pool outside my door and the fantastic host family I stayed with. If I had the opportunity to go again in the morning I would.

I would like to thank Br Denis for organising this fantastic trip and my parents for facilitating it. The trip was the highlight of my time in Glenstal so far and I would recommend it for any student who is interested in it.

 

Conor O’Brien (TY)