Being an Exchange Student at Athenian

As a member of Round Square, Athenian participates in a robust international exchange program. We send more than 35 sophomores abroad to sister Round Square schools every year and host just as many on our campus.
We recently hosted a student from the Bridge House School in South Africa. She wrote our Round Square Director, Mark Friedman, a lovely letter about her time at Athenian.

Hi Mark!

I wanted to apologize because when I left Athenian, I never got to formally thank you and Emily for the effort and thought that you all invested in order to make my exchange so memorable.

When I asked past Bridge House students that had attended Athenian on exchange about what to expect, they immediately smiled and told me that I was going to love it. I then met Justine earlier in the year [when she came here on exchange] and I knew that if your students were similar to her, I would find it difficult to leave, and I was right. I have completely fallen in love with your school, the food, the lifestyle and most importantly, the people. I have made memories and friends that I will never forget; and even though Athenian is not like the typical American public school that we see on TV in South Africa, it is perfect just the way that it is. I admire the determination and passion that your students have for their work, their constant big smiles and the happy atmosphere throughout the campus, and (I’m sure that you have heard this many times before) the absolutely breath-taking views. I find it difficult to convey how perfect my experience was to my friends and family because it went way beyond anything that I had anticipated. I notice myself constantly thinking about everyone that I miss.

Mathomo and I are excited to share our experience with the younger Bridge House students that will be attending Athenian in the years to come. I now know that they will never be able to forget these two months of exchange, because how could they forget two of the best months of their lives.

I hope that everyone is doing well.
All the best for 2017,
Ella Solms

Another student from Bridge House School recently applied to come to Athenian. In her application, she wrote the following:
“I have a great interest in The Athenian School in California in the USA, because most of the people that I look up to and my friends have been to the school and have nothing but great praise for it.  They almost all recommended me to go there.  What mainly attracts and interests me about The Athenian School is that they are said to embrace cultural diversity, encourage intellectual independence and tolerance of different global perspectives. …  Why do I think I am the most suitable candidate for the exchange program? I am a young and talented African woman with exceptional leadership qualities. I am thirsty to broaden my future horizon and learn more about other people’s different way of life. Given this opportunity I would be a great ambassador of not only my school and my community but also my country as well. I intend to share my values of Ubuntu with my host school and community.”
Athenian’s exchange program continues to grow. This year, we have students traveling to and coming from Argentina, Australia, China, Columbia, Germany, India, Peru, South Africa, South Korea, and the UK.