Exchange Program

The International Exchange Program offers students the unique opportunity to experience a new country, culture and lifestyle with the safety net of a host school and family. This experience empowers students to broaden their horizons, gain international perspective and become more self-aware. Out of the necessity to confront challenges outside a familiar support network and comfort zone, students often return as more confident and mature global citizens.

The ideal exchange candidate is someone who upholds and embodies Collingwood’s values of courage, curiosity, community, is four-stranded (Athletics, Arts, Academics and Service) and enthusiastic about making the most of the experience. Strong academic standing and effort are seriously considered during the selection process.  Being part of the exchange program provides an excellent opportunity for students to reflect on their growth in some of the Round Square IDEALS (Internationalism, Democracy, Environment, Adventure, Leadership and Service) Honours Program.

Students sent on exchange are expected to act as ambassadors of Collingwood School and fully immerse themselves in all aspects of school and family (or sometimes boarding) life while studying at their exchange school. Successful candidates must also be willing to host a student – usually from the reciprocal exchange school, but not always (the student may also be older). It is the responsibility of the student and their family to make all travel arrangements (airline tickets and visas/health vaccinations, if necessary).

We are re-starting the exchange program slowly and it is set to resume in the 2023-2024 school year for the grade 9 students.  Our Collingwood students will travel to the exchange school during Term 3, between May-June of the school year (this could extend into July-August) for about 4-6 weeks.  This means that the Grade 9 student would choose “Exchange” as their first choice for their H-block class during course selection.  The Collingwood student and their families will host an exchange student for 4-6 weeks during Term 2 between November-April.

Contact: roundsquare@collingwood.org.

Exchange Experiences

Gordonstoun School, Scotland

A year ago in term two, I participated in an international exchange with Gordonstoun School in Scotland. My trip was planned to last three months, however, due to the pandemic, the last month was cut short. Gordonstoun is a Round Square school in the north of Scotland which believes in strength, determination and overall excellence, very similar to Collingwood. The school itself is fully boarding and has many different buildings around the 200-acre wooded campus. My exchange partner was not able to come to Collingwood, however, I did get to meet her while at the school. I was sorted into one of the three girls boarding houses and made many friends both inside and outside my house. A typical day while I was at the school started at 6:50am, when the seniors would come and wake everyone up. Within the span of one hour we all had to dress, brush our teeth, pack our bags and eat breakfast in the refectory. Directly after breakfast we would go to chapel for our morning service and then head on to our first lesson. The lessons at Gordonstoun were similar to those taught at Collingwood. For a change, I did decide to take geography where I learnt a lot about the urban layout of the United Kingdom. After our first two lessons we would head over to the refectory for a snack, and after the third we would have lunch. Usually, we had two more lessons after lunch and then activities. While on exchange, I learnt how to play netball, participated in step aerobics and joined the vintage film club. From this point onwards in the day it was very relaxing and I had time to chat with my friends or phone home. The day ended at 10:00pm most nights when the wifi and lights were turned off. My experience was absolutely amazing and I have made many friends that I still keep in touch with to this day over a year later. If anyone is on the fence about participating in an exchange I would highly recommend taking a risk and signing up. I had an absolutely magical time, and I’m sure that anyone who wants to sign up would too!

- Emma, Grade 10