India Exchange

India Exchange

14th November 2011

PRESS RELEASE – Indian Cultural Exchange

Students from Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School have recently returned from their first visit to India as part of a newly established cultural exchange.

Twenty four students and four staff visited the city of Kochi in Kerala and were based at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan School in the heart of the city.

The trip, set up two years ago by Headteacher, David Anderson, saw students from Queen Elizabeth's living with Indian families for two weeks whilst also enjoying a huge range of trips. Students from the exchange school will be returning to Faversham in June next year.

Whilst in India students visited a tiger reserve, enjoyed elephant rides, boat trips, visited temples, museums and cultural centres.

In preparation for the trip, students were involved in fundraising to pay for the activities the Indian students will take part in when they return. Sebastian Dickson, aged 15, took his fundraising seriously, raising £1,600 by cycling from Lands' End to John O'Groats during the summer holiday.

Before arriving in Kochi, the Queen Elizabeth's party spent a weekend in the Southern Keralacity of Trivandrum, acclimatising and getting used to the different lifestyle.

Following this, students and staff were treated to a fantastic reception upon their arrival at the Vidya Bhavan School, with all 2,400 students present for a special performance which included dance, speeches and presentations.

Headteacher David Anderson, who joined the party in Kerala during the trip said: “Students and staff had a fantastic experience when they visited Kerala. India is a beautiful country and we were all made to feel very welcome by our Indian hosts. I have so many memories of students taking part in the activities and enjoying the Indian way of life. One of the last days of the trip coincided with Diwali, one of the most significant religious days in the Indian calendar. On this evening, a party was held at school for the pupils and their partners. Queen Elizabeth's students wore traditional Indian dress, tasted Indian food, observed and participated in dance displays and enjoyed a fireworks display. We are delighted to have established such a successful exchange and look forward to the Indian visitors coming to Faversham next year and indeed our return trip to India in 2013".

Students have been very positive about the experience describing it as "The trip of a lifetime" with many inspired and already planning to visit India again.

Press Release Ends