This fall, four exchange students from Australia have joined the St. Mark's community.
Clancy Adamson, Liam Henry and Nick Richmond are currently 10th grade students at Christ Church Grammar School in Claremont, (near Perth) Western Australia. This summer, Nathan Laudani '20 traveled from St. Mark's to Australia and lived with both Clancy and Nick.
Clancy is a boarding student at CCGS and is an avid tennis and hockey fan. In Australia, field hockey is a both a sport for men and women and Clancy is a member of hockey clubs outside of school. Clancy's reason for participating in an exchange was to broaden his horizons to learn about another culture and to make long lasting friends and memories. Liam is a boarder at CCGS and is fond of "footy" or Australian Rules football. He plays both in school and out of school for a footy club. Liam's reason for coming on an exchange was to see more of the world beyond Australia. Nick is a day student at CCGS. His favorite sports are Aussie rules football, cricket and floorball (floor hockey). Nick's reason for participating in an exchange is to expand his perspective of education in other places outside of CCGS and to immerse himself into a different culture.
Caitlin Boyle is from St. Hilda's School, Southport, Queensland and is being hosted by Ashley Borys '18 in Gaccon. Ashley went to St. Hilda's this summer and was hosted by Caitlin in her home so this is a true exchange of friendship and hospitality. Caitlin is an avid Cross Country runner (having reached national level in Australia) and has been practicing with the SM girls' cross country team.
"I have really enjoyed my past few weeks at St. Mark's!" declares Caitlin. "The School is very beautiful and the people are so welcoming. Also the food has been delicious."
Clancy Adamson agrees. "St. Mark's has been a truly amazing experience," he says. "I especially love the kindness of the people and the richness of the culture at the school."
For Nick Richmond, the exchange opportunity has been both transformative and eye-opening. "My experiences at St. Mark's have been life changing, and ones I will never forget," he says. "The most interesting part of this exchange, beyond the big changes between the two societies, are the smaller ones that take time to notice, such as which side of the hallway people walk on, the different vocabularies and the daily greetings between students as well as faculty."
"My adventure at St. Mark's has been a unique one-time experience for me," states Liam Henry. "I have explored the school, culture and academic success. The School has welcomed the Australians with opens arms; every staff and students here in the hall way have said hi or even tried some Australian slang. The culture here at St. Mark's is unifying, especially the sport culture, everyone is always getting around the varsity teams when they are home and everyone plays it in a good spirit. Overall my time here has been wonderful and I'm honoured to be an exchange student here."
Both Christ Church and St. Hilda's are partner schools with St. Mark's as part of the SM Global Citizenship Initiative. St. Mark's School recognizes that a global education is a critical component of a 21st century education. Therefore, the goal of the Global Citizenship Initiative, through both curricular and extracurricular offerings, is to help SM students see and appreciate the distinctive features and the beauty that exist in the variety of cultures of the world, to appreciate the human universals that make all people more similar than different, and to inspire our students to become global citizens.
"The Australians are fully engaged in the day to day life of St. Mark's," says SM faculty member Neil Cifuentes, the School's On-Site Partner School Coordinator. "They are taking classes, involved in extracurriculars and taking in the cultural experiences New England has to offer on the weekends. Their presence within our community has been so enriching!"
"We continue to enjoy our partnership with St. Hilda's School and the Christ Church Grammar School," says Dr. Laura Appell-Warren, Director of Global Citizenship and The Global Citizenship Institute at St. Mark's, "and the students here this fall are a great example of the strong students who come to study with us! Each brings a unique perspective and unique experiences that they share with our student body. This exchange of ideas and experiences enhances everyone's understanding of the world."