St Mary’s Calne places great value on exchange programmes and has established relationships with schools in Australia and the USA.
During the four weeks (or three weeks to Lovett School in the USA) the girls are full-time pupils at the school, either living with their partner’s family (if their exchange is a day girl) or boarding at the school if their partner is a boarder, attending all lessons, activities and outings and experiencing the world and global issues from a different perspective. The exchange programmes enable the girls to acquire greater independence and maturity, make new friends and broaden their general knowledge of international issues, while soaking up the culture and traditions of another country.
In 2013, St Mary’s Calne initiated an exchange programme with Ascham School in Sydney, Australia, whereby two girls from the UV Form visit the school for just over four weeks, as part of an exchange. Ascham is situated in the suburbs of Sydney, within a very short distance of the city centre with its historical district, touristic places, the Harbour bridge and the Opera House and is one of the oldest girls’ schools in Australia.
Over the last three years, St Mary’s Calne has also offered LV Form girls a three-week exchange programme to Lovett School in Atlanta, Georgia. This is a fantastic venture for the girls concerned. The Lovett School is located in a residential part of Atlanta, Georgia with downtown Atlanta a 15-minute drive from campus. It has 600 students in the upper school, is a mixed school with three gymnasiums, a café, a greenhouse, marine biology labs, a 650-seat theatre and a host of other exceptional facilities.
“I now feel that I have a much, much deeper understanding of the USA and American culture than a family holiday could ever provide.” (Yasmin)
“I learnt so much from this trip. It proved to me that making friends is easy no matter where on the globe and I have finally discovered what it is like to be an American citizen and attend a high school. I think that the biggest difference is how fast-paced America is compared with the UK – there’s so much to do!” (Imogen)
LV Form girls also benefit from the opportunity of an exchange with St Hilda’s School in Australia, located in Southport on the Australian Gold Coast. St Hilda’s has a tradition of educating girls in an environment that surrounds them with values based on the Anglican tradition and it is well-known for the outstanding atmosphere it provides.
The German Department are also currently exploring a possible exchange with a German boarding school in Bad Bederska near Bremen, following a very successful two weeks during which Claudia Krapp visited St Mary's German Department. The school is looking at welcoming ten girls next academic year and the St Mary's girls (UIV, Fifth and Sixth Form German students) would then visit the German school at the end of this forthcoming Summer Term. This will be a fabulous opportunity for the girls to immerse themselves in the German culture, way of life, and to learn about the education system in Germany.