New horizons

25 Jul 2018

Living the Round Square IDEALS of Internationalism and Adventure, Year 10 student Angus Macdonald jumped at the chance to go on an exchange to the United World College South East Asia (UWCSEA) in Singapore.

“I knew I wanted to go on an exchange while at College and wanted to do it sooner rather than fit it around NCEA, so this was perfect. I was proud to represent College as the first UWCSEA exchange student, it was an amazing opportunity.”

First, Angus hosted his exchange “brother” Luis Cook, who arrived in Christchurch in April, and then the two boys travelled back to Singapore together at the end of May. Angus stayed in Singapore for four weeks, living with Luis’s family, attending school and – as the school year ends in June – participating in UWCSEA end-of-year activities, hanging out with new friends and visiting some of the many attractions of the island city-state. He was impressed by Singapore’s dynamic and cosmopolitan vibe.

“UWCSEA is an international school and its students come from all over the world. Luis’s family is British and his friends are from all different countries, which is so cool.

Singapore is busy, complicated and exciting, and you get to see and experience so many different cultures over there. It really opened my eyes to the world and how they do things in other places.”

Swimming at the Marina Bay Sands infinity pool, visiting Merlion Park, taking the cable car to Sentosa Island and riding the waves at the Wave House, wakeboarding in the Straits of Johor, and dining in Chinatown and Little India – “the best food of the whole trip” – were among the many highlights of his stay, along with simply learning how to navigate the city by bus, taxi or train.

Angus has some good advice for anyone thinking of applying for the next UWCSEA exchange. “College being part of Round Square has opened the way for students from schools in different countries to communicate with and step into each other’s lives. If you can, go for it. Make the most of every opportunity, because you’re not going to see what you can see there here. It’s incredible to be able to go somewhere else, experience a different type of school, and be welcomed into someone else’s home and life.”

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