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19 June 2024 / Category : School

Student exchange: From India to Aotearoa, and back again

Five Rangi Ruru students and their families recently played host to students from Unison World School, a highly-regarded independent girls’ school in Dehradun, northern India.

During their three-week sojourn in New Zealand, Ishanvi, Radhika, Riya, Kaveesh and Aadhya buddied up with Nicole, Emma, Samantha, Milli and Florence (all years 10-12). The students attended school alongside their host sisters, which saw them experiencing Māori language/culture, New Zealand art and making brandy snaps, while they showcased snippets of home in the form of traditional Indian dancing and sharing local snacks.

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They visited the Antarctic Centre, explored local sights such as Mt Cook and spent time in Queenstown/Wanaka with their host families, enjoy quintessential Kiwi adventure-sports such as jet-boating, lugeing and indoor skydiving.

Student exchanges provide Rangi students and their hosts an opportunity to experience and immerse themselves in another country’s culture and way of life, while creating life-long friendships and memories, which is exactly what the Unison girls did.

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“I enjoyed every bit of the exchange, from talking about cricket with Mr Milne to learning about the history of New Zealand with Mrs Milne (Florence’s parents),” says Aadhya. “The education system was quite different from what I was used to, with a strong emphasis on independent learning and critical thinking. The students were so welcoming and supportive and will always hold a special place in my heart.”

Adds Kaveesh: “From the moment I arrived, I was amazed by the beautiful scenery and nature. The way of living was surely something different from India, but at the same time adapting to those changes was quite easy. Throughout my journey, the warmth and friendliness of New Zealanders, or Kiwis, stood out.”

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In July, our Rangi Ruru ākonga will travel to India, accompanied by Head of Textile Technology, Emily Napolitano, to experience all that India and Unison has to offer. Adds Ishvani: “I can’t wait to introduce [Nicole] to my school, the culture and the cuisine!”