Student exchange: Kamryn
Posted: 23 October 2018
Two-month reciprocal exchange
Kamryn Norton, from St Stithians Girls’ College in South Africa was both hosted at the Transylvania College Boarding House, where she had the opportunity to get to know all the boarders and make meaningful friendships, to get actively involved in the life of the boarding community and have a better understanding of the Romanian culture.
“It definitely took me out of my comfort zone,” says Kamryn “I went to a strange country with absolutely no internal link or idea of the conditions or people I was going to arrive to. It has made me exponentially more confident in the way I approach other people and difficult situations.”
“I’ve learnt independence, confidence and resourcefulness in a way that I would not have thought possible. It also taught me about my values and strengths and showed me that my limits were far beyond where I originally thought them to be.”
Kamryn attended classes in Year 12 for 8 weeks at Transylvania College, and was a great addition to the Year 12 community and participated in the classes of chosen subjects with great interest.
Kamryn planned her exchange for over a year and when she found out that she was going to Transylvania, she was excited about the opportunity. She was fascinated by the culture, the heritage, the landmarks and the old buildings she saw in our city.
“I thoroughly enjoyed being able to explore the city and independently and safely as well as experience everyday life in Romania. I would walk alone to meet up with friends, shop at the mall, or even treat myself to a movie!” By the middle of November, the weather turned cold and Kamryn got the chance to experience snowfall for the first time in her life.
“My exchange definitely made me ‘hungry’ for more foreign and travel experiences! I plan to travel back to Europe this December to experience more countries,” says Kamryn “I am also planning a trip with a friend I made on exchange to Iceland and experience travelling alone on a limited budget.”
On reflecting on her exchange experience, Kamryn believes the skills she developed during her time at Transylvania College will stand her in good stead; “I learnt so much on my exchange that is bound to help me cope in challenging situations, with living away from home and with extending my comfort zone beyond what I ever thought I could.” On completing her studies at St Stithians, Kamryn intends on applying to universities in the States to continue her education and her travels.
“I would tell them to not hesitate to take the opportunity. They need to be tough but will learn so much about themselves and the world around them that can’t be taught at school or by staying within their comfort zone.”
“Be open to new experiences, try opportunities that take you out of your comfort zone and make the most of your time at your exchange school and a country you have never visited. Don’t limit yourself to the known, but be courageous and resilient in tackling the unknown,” advises Christine Ashton, RS Rep at St Stithians Girls’ College.
Share your story
If you have been involved in a student exchange, why not share your story here and you could feature on our website!