International Studies Programme Exchange
Fayed Shaikjee, Khayelihle Hlomuka, Ziyaad Joosab, Toana Ngidi and Amahle Shazi were selected to go on a cultural exchange to the Minnetonka High School in the USA form 24 September to 9 October as part of the International Studies Programme.
While the benefits of the ISP are many and varied, the core aim is to provide an opportunity for DHS learners to gain an international perspective, establish cross-cultural and interpersonal skills which will insure their success in the global environment of the 21st century. This programme is an opportunity for the boys of DHS to expand their cultural understanding, reflect upon their own cultural and national heritage and develop skills in working with international students on specific academic assignments.
Each one of the boys who went on the trip developed a relationship with a student in Minnetonka High School throughout the year, using academically driven assignments. This ensured that the host families were no strangers to the boys upon their arrival in the USA.
The boys and I spent our first day in Minnetonka adjusting to the new environment (Far colder than Durban!) and then enjoying our very first live baseball game! The next day the attended their first day as an exchange student at Minnetonka High School. Myself and the boys were blown away by the sheer size of the school; over 3200 learners attend the school and it is ranked on of the top schools in the USA. They boys enjoyed the very different school environment and the range of subjects available at the school.
We were all privileged to be in Minnetonka during the homecoming week. This was a very festive occasion where the football team enjoys their main home game of the season and it is followed by a school dance, which we all attended.
Not all of our time in the USA was spent at Minnetonka High School. When we weren’t at school we were exploring the city of Minneapolis! Chet Masteller (the coordinator of Minnetonka High School’s International Studies Programme) was kind enough to give us a guided tour of the Twin cities, Minneapolis and St. Paul. This allowed us to better understand the environment that we were in as well as enjoy the beauty that surrounded us in Minnesota!
Our time at Minnetonka came to an end on 6 October and we spent the weekend in New York City before heading home. The first day was spent exploring the urban jungle and navigating the subway system! The next couple of days we enjoyed doing the “tourist” activities. These included seeing the Statue of Liberty up close, exploring Time Square, strolling through Central Park and, of course, tasting the famous New York Pizza!
While we thoroughly enjoyed every second of our time in the USA, we were all glad to head back home (well, almost all of us!). Every boy who went on the trip stressed how much they would love to go again. This is mainly because of the amazing hospitality we received in Minnetonka. The people are some of the friendliest people we have encountered. They are both warm and caring and took great care of all of us. I look forward to taking the International Studies boys next year to this amazing country!
Ms Erica Goring
Head of International Studies Programme