Before December Break, we wished 13 LCS students good luck and safe travels on their upcoming exchange trips abroad. As we approach the end of January, students have settled in with their host families and are immersing themselves in this exciting experience. Audrey ’25 is currently staying in South Africa and shared an update about her experience thus far.
From the few days that I’ve been here, I can already tell that this school is much different from Lakefield, although there are some similarities. Bridge House has houses, much like LCS has paper houses, but they are much more “important” here, and it’s something that comes into conversations more often. Your homeroom is decided based on your house and they have many different events that help you earn points. On Monday and Tuesday, Athletics Day is starting, which is very similar to Track and Field, although it involves full school participation.
I’ve also discovered that the curriculum here, for me at least, is a lot more challenging than at Lakefield. That could be because I am taking classes that I am not very strong in, but the students here seem to have learned stuff when they were a lot younger but were still attending this school. This means that the teachers expect students to know certain things, and while they do, it’s not something that I have been taught yet so it’s a little bit of a struggle. I am taking two languages during this term, French, and Afrikaans. I have the same teacher for both classes and he’s very nice, but I’ve learned that he never speaks English while he teaches.
All of the staff and students here are lovely. They’re all so kind and helpful and they’ve made me feel so welcome within these first few days. It’s an amazing feeling to know that within, not even the first week, I have people that I will miss when I go back home, and that will miss me in return. I have found it very amusing though, to learn that Canada is a very exotic country at this school. People seem very shocked when I tell them that I come from Canada, and that's something that I've never experienced before. I've also learned that I am the first Canadian student that Bridge House has had since Liv Cantelon ’22 and Liv Johnston ’22 came here in 2020 on their Grade 10 exchange.
Yesterday, we had our first school outing to Franschhoek and it was so amazing to see the different cultures represented there! There was a huge market in the middle of the town and it sold everything from food and books to clothing and small souvenirs. It was absolutely stunning and the people were all so kind, and in a way, it felt like Lakefield, only five times larger!
I’ve had an amazing first few days here at Bridge House, and I can already tell that these next six weeks will fly by so quickly. It’s still hard for me to believe that I’m here because sometimes it doesn’t even feel real. But I’m so excited to continue to meet new people and before I know it, I’ll be saying goodbye to the warm South African sun, and I’ll be on my flight back to the cold Canadian winter!