Two Australian Exchange Student's Accounts of their time Glenstal Abbey School

Two Australian Exchange Student's Accounts of their time Glenstal Abbey School
Denis Hooper

Exchange Student News - Ireland

Alexander Myors, Year 10

My time at Glenstal Abbey has been enjoyable. When I first got to the school there were some things that took me a while to get used to. The main change from CCGS was boarding. Boarding was well structured, with set times for lights out, phone collection, studying and activities. However, spending all your time at school with the same people took a while to get used to. Boarding was fun and gave me the opportunity to get to know the other students that boarded at the school better. I got to know all the people in my dormitory very well because we spent every night together which gave me some good memories. 

Glenstal is set in beautiful, green grounds that I spent much time walking through and exploring. The school is situated just up the road from a small town in which we are allowed to visit after school. Glenstal itself is also quite magnificent, the dormitories are inside a large, ancient castle that looks over the surrounding land. The school is attached to the castle and is a nice modern building with many rooms for teaching, studying and meeting. 

The school day at Glenstal is different from CCGS, but also very similar, instead of five 1 hour classes, there are eight 40 minute classes. Instead of bringing your own lunch from home everyone gets a pre-made lunch at a mess-hall that is well prepared by the chefs. The school day is split up into 3 classes, then a break, 2 classes then lunch and to finish off the day 3 more classes. 

The school week is also different. Wednesday is only a half day, the other half is spent at an activity, I went swimming at a public pool that was nearby, it seemed to get colder every week. We also have half a day of school on Saturday. After Saturday school there is an activity, we have watched The Joker film, gone go carting, and watched some rugby games. 

Transition Year students basically have a free day on Tuesday. We spend it doing a special activity. Some highlights were the Mondello car driving which was a racetrack that we got to drive cars on. It was most people’s first times driving and was enjoyable. Another activity was cooking at the Hook and Ladder restaurant. A chef showed us how to cook some nice meals, which we got to eat afterwards, one of which was Spaghetti Bolognese. 

The exchange program with Glenstal Abbey School has been a pleasure to do, and I would recommend it to anyone. 


Exchange Student News - Ireland

Jesse Venner, Year 10

Exchange has been great. Some of the highlights have been: driving on a racetrack; watching a match of hurling (we had no clue what was happening); and climbing up an impressive mountain (we’re now expert mountaineers). 

Our exchange school, Glenstal Abbey School, is completely different to CCGS. The biggest difference is how Glenstal Is predominantly a boarding school. The prospect of literally living at school horrified us at first; but we soon grew to love our cozy dormitory. After living at Glenstal, I believe boarding is the best way to attend school (unless you value privacy) and I wish CCGS offered boarding.

Living at school has allowed us to make many great friends. Due to Glenstal Abbey being a revered school around the world, many foreign students board here. This has allowed me to make close friendships with people from Germany, Portugal and Saudi Arabia. We will hopefully stay in contact with each other after our departure from Ireland and meet up again in the future.


Exchange has been the best adventure I have had at CCGS. It has allowed me to make new friends and experience a different school’s culture. Sadly, my stay at Glenstal Abbey is coming to an end. It’s a bittersweet feeling, when I think about coming home as I’m looking forward to seeing my family and friends again, but will miss my ‘new’ life in Ireland. Alex and I will never forget our trip and we will fondly remember our best times here.