‘Confronting moments’ on school trip

WELCOME: (LtoR) Rangi Ruru teacher Rebecca Meachen, Francesca Gallaway, Isabelle Ussher, Charlotte Gray, Unison World School principal Veena Singh, Matilda Hayman, Rosa Jones and Claudia O’Shaunnessey, presenting a gift to the school from Rangi, at a welcome assembly.

Six Rangi Ruru Girls’ School students are experiencing “confronting moments” on a three-week trip through Northern India.

The group of year 12 and 11 students arrived in the sub continent on July 17 and are taking part in an exchange with Unison World School at the base of the Himalayas, where they are learning about the culture of India.

Rangi Ruru exchange programme co-ordinator Tania Morgan said the relationship with Unison is in its fifth year and the exchange can be life-changing.

“It’s very different culturally and as a learning environment. The school is far more regimented then they are used to,” she said.

Ms Morgan said the students are going on trips up the Himalayas and will also get to see the Taj Mahal and further afield around the golden triangle.

“They will also see the extreme depths of poverty,” said Ms Morgan. Rangi Ruru teacher Rebecca Meachen said the students are having some confronting, yet wonderful, moments.

“As one student said to me, this is so different seeing it all, as opposed to hearing about it – nothing prepares you.”

Students go through a challenging application process to be part of the exchange, writing an application, getting feedback from teachers and then final interviews.

“Spending three weeks in northern India is a challenge in itself so it’s important the girls are resilient and able to embrace an opportunity,” said Ms Morgan. The students will learn about Indian dance, music, cooking, history and art and Henna body art.