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Middle School Students Take Part in Round Square Exchange

Round Square
GNSGNS photo
students on Round Square exchange

This spring, five Middle School students participated in exciting 10-day Round Square Exchanges to partner schools like Havergal College in Toronto and The Athenian School in Danville, California.

The exchange program offers students the chance to experience other cultures during their homestays and gives them the opportunity to grow by experiencing new forms of independence, cooperation, leadership and personal challenges.

Students stay with families of the partnered schools while attending the schools and going on adventures.

Sabina Carino ’27 and Claire Sangha ’27 travelled to Toronto for their exchange with Havergral College. They stayed with different homestay families and had a great time.

“I had a lot of fun,” Claire said. “I think I gained a lot of independence, made a lot of connections and learned more about myself. I wanted to take part in an exchange because I wanted to see how well I do on my own. I’ve never been to a place without my family. One thing I took away from this experience was to not be afraid to do something. I was nervous at first, but I realized I’ve never done it before so I didn’t know what to expect.”

During her stay, she was taken to the CN Tower, an NBA game (Toronto Raptors vs. Utah Jazz) and visited the Eaton Centre a few times.

During Sabina’s exchange, she visited Niagra Falls and Blue Mountain Resort where her homestay family took her snowboarding. This helped her really connect with the student she was partnered with.

“The family was really nice and understanding that it was weird at first to go into a new home,” she said. “I really wanted to take on this opportunity to gain more independence and make new connections. I also wanted to see what another school was like, and I found it was similar but also had its differences.”

Wyatt Wilson ’27, Jackson Horne ’27 and Liam Ward ’27 stayed in the San Francisco Bay area for their exchange with The Athenian School.

“I really wanted to take on the exchange because it gave me the opportunity to go to a new place and meet new people and make lifelong friends,” Wyatt said.

While in California, Wyatt was shown around San Francisco and was also taken to an NBA game (Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Lakers). Liam attended the game and visited the USS Hornet Museum.

“It was pretty fun,” Liam said about his exchange. “It was great to meet new people and do new things. What I took away from this experience was learning about American schools and the differences between ours.”

From April 15 to 21 there will be four students who join our GNS community for a week to do an exchange. Three of them from The Athenian School and one for Havergal College. We can’t wait to welcome them to GNS!

These Gryphons had some advice for students who might be thinking about doing an exchange next year:

“Make sure you are doing it for the right reasons,” said Sabina. “Don’t just do the exchange because you want to get away, but do it because you want to experience something new. Also, be aware it will be awkward the first couple of days.”

“Don’t let your fears hold you back,” said Claire. “Just because you’re nervous to go on the exchange doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do it.”

“Be prepared for new experiences and meeting new people,” said Wyatt. “Be open to new experiences.”