Icenian Caitlin Nicholson is currently participating in the English Speaking Union Secondary School Exchange programme in America. The ESU’s Secondary School Exchange offers students the opportunity to spend a gap year at an American high school at the end of Year 13. It’s a fantastic chance for students to spend time abroad broadening their horizons, making new friends and continuing their education free of exam pressures. Alumni include singer-songwriter and musician KT Tunstall, comedian Dawn French, journalist and novelist Rosie Millard OBE and writer and director Dick Clement. Feedback is overwhelmingly positive, with students reporting increased confidence, a better understanding of diverse perspectives, and the joy of being fully immersed in another culture.
Caitlin recently sent us an update from her travels, pictures below.
“I returned to campus from spring break yesterday after 18 days off. I travelled to parts of the Southwest with some friends on a trip run by Culver. It was amazing! We visited Nevada (Vegas), California (Death Valley), Arizona (Grand Canyon), and Utah. The trip had lots of hiking, sightseeing, and fun activities like visiting a real cowboy on a ranch (I thought this was just in the movies!) and exploring Vegas.
It was a service trip, so we had the chance to give back to the communities we visited by helping restore public footpaths, gardening in national monuments, going into homes of people in the Hopi community helping the elderly with housework.
The trip was ten days long, and my dad and brother visited for the remaining week. It was great to see them and show them Culver and Chicago.
One of my friends here has a place on the ESU Exchange for next year, which is very exciting! She’ll attend Westonbirt School near Bath, which looks like a beautiful school.
Everyone has the Grad countdown going: 61 days. I cannot believe how quickly it has gone. In July, when I return, I’ll attend an event at Dartmouth House, see this year’s scholars and meet the Culver scholar for next year! I am excited to share my experiences with her, and hopefully, we can stay in touch while I’m at Uni.”
Find out more about the exchange here.