Oakhill Exchange Programme

Oakhill’s exchange programme started in 2013 when an exchange partnership was established with Gordonstoun School in Scotland. The programme has since expanded and continues to grow as we strive to establish a wider global network of exchanges. Grade 9 and 10 students from Oakhill participate in the exchange programme.

The Exchange Philosophy

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” – Mark Twain

Exchange is important, even crucial. It forces students out of their comfort zone in a manner that is exciting rather than threatening. It brings them into contact with different people, cultures, systems and countries. They experience the selection process, the sometimes mind-numbing yet vital bureaucratic requirements, saying goodbye to loved ones, the thrill of the unknown, missing home but learning to manage their emotions, forging new friendships, and returning to share their adventure. They learn of and from others, but also of themselves.

While we place a high premium on international exchange options, we do believe that experiencing diversity within South Africa and Africa is also vital, which is why we are in the process of investigating local exchanges. As far as overseas exchanges go, we strive to facilitate diverse and unique experiences for our students. We want them to learn but also to simply have fun by immersing themselves in the positive experiences on offer.

Ultimately, we want students to return from exchange with a willingness and ability to share what they’ve experienced, so that the entire Oakhill community may benefit from the exchange.

Our Exchange Partners

Our exchange partners and initiatives are scattered across the globe from England and Europe, to India and Argentina. The times and duration of the different exchange options vary.

AFRICA ASIA EUROPE NORTHAMERICA OCEANIA SOUTHAMERICA

 

Our current exchange partners and initiatives include the following schools listed below (please click on the name of each to go through to their respective websites):

Gordonstoun, Scotland

Gordonstoun ScotlandThe Gordonstoun exchange runs during the whole of the first term. Students typically leave at the beginning of January and return at the end of March. These students therefore miss the entire first term, which is why we select academically mature students for this exchange. We are reliant on the number of exchange students Gordonstoun can send to Oakhill, as our students stay in their boarding houses. We typically send one boy and one girl on this exchange. This can however change year-on-year depending on who is interested in coming to Oakhill. The Gordonstoun exchange offers a rigorous academic and extra-curricular programme, which exposes our students to a wide range of academic subjects, sports and clubs.

Gymnasium am Deutenberg, Germany

The German exchange takes place from early-September to late-October, while the German exchange students usually visit Oakhill during the second term. This means that the German exchange is not a straight swap. Our students are therefore still at home when their German exchanges arrive, and vice versa. The German exchange offers our students the richness and beauty of southern Germany and of a beautiful town situated very close to the Swiss border in Southern Baden-Württemberg. We have been able to send about four students on this exchange over the past few years.

Woodstock, India

Woodstock IndiaThe exchange to Woodstock also takes place during the first term, starting around two weeks into the term and running until the end of March. As with the Gordonstoun exchange, our students stay in their boarding facility, which is why we are also dependent on the number of students they can send to Oakhill. We are typically able to send four students on this exchange. The Woodstock exchange offers our students the opportunity to come into contact with the rich and vibrant Indian culture, as well as contact with students from around the world

Academia Arguello, Argentina

The Argentinian exchange started in 2015, and has thus far been a “one-way” exchange, with Argentinian students from Academia Arguello in Cordoba, Argentina visiting Oakhill in September. This is also a private school and is in many ways similar to Oakhill. We are looking forward to our first mutual exchange next year during the April holidays, when a group of Grade 10 and 11 students will visit Argentina. They will stay with host families, and will have the opportunity to travel for a few days as part of the exchange. They will be accompanied by two members of staff. More information will be communicated soon.

The Oxbridge Academic Program, England

The Oxbridge Academic Program is a new option we are looking at offering our students. This is not an exchange, but rather an academic programme which runs over four weeks in July at either Oxford or Cambridge University. Students select two subjects which are offered as introductory university courses and attend lectures on these courses. Students stay in the actual university colleges with around 300 other students from more than 30 countries, and are taken on excursions from time to time. Even though there is a lot of freedom on offer, behaviour is closely monitored by college masters and stooges. We nominate our strongest academics for this programme, as it is rigorous. It is also an expensive option, with an estimated total cost of around $10 000. It is, however, an amazing opportunity, and we are not limited in terms of the number of students we can send.

Exchange projects on the horizon:

  • Exchanges to Australia, Canada and other African countries
  • Local exchanges within South Africa (Uplands College, St Mary’s Waverley)