The Thomas Hardye School

Thomas Hardye US Exchange

US Exchange

 

After an exciting week in June hosting our American partners it was time for our exchange visit… we left in the early hours of Friday 19th October and headed for Mechanicsburg High School, west of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Two staff (Ms. Ullah and Mrs. Biddle) and seven students spent a week in the town of Mechanicsburg. The first weekend after our arrival was spent with host families, a great start to our visit because firm friendships had already been formed in June. A variety of activities were experienced during the first weekend including visiting the traditional Amish Community (Lancaster), going to Hershey Park (rides and chocolate), shopping in the local mall and various Halloween activities such as pumpkin carving and apple picking. One of our lucky students went on an impromptu camping trip with her host family.
We all met at the High School on Monday morning ready for our first taste of American education. Mechanicsburg High has SEVEN lessons in a day and we all attended lessons with either our hosts, friends of our host or experienced lessons that interested us. We spent Wednesday and Friday in High School too undertaking a similar pattern to Monday.

On Tuesday 23rd October, with our exchange partners we went to Washington DC for the day. Packing in visits to The Space Museum, The National Gallery of Art, The Natural History Museum, The White House, The Washington Monument, The World War II Memorial, The Lincoln Memorial, The Martin Luther King Memorial, The Korean War Memorial and we saw Capitol Hill form a distance- we all slept well that night!

On Thursday 25th October we visited Harrisburg and the Pennsylvania State Capital building. In this truly beautiful building we toured the Senate Chamber, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and the House of Representatives. Following this impressive insight into American culture we were kindly all hosted by one of our exchange students in their family restaurant.

After lunch we toured the Gettysburg National Battlefield, site of the turning point in the American Civil War. This day was led by Col. Robinson a knowledgeable and very well-travelled member of the High School staff who also sang some very interesting songs! Throughout the day we travelled in a traditional yellow school bus, what a treat.

Later that evening many of our students went ‘trick or treating’ and had a Halloween experience of candy and costumes that cannot yet be matched in the UK!

On Saturday 27th October it was time to say goodbye to our American friends and we shared a farewell breakfast of Dunkin’ Donuts and coffee at the high school. It was time to leave Mechanicsburg and move onto a two-night stay in New York City. On arrival we went straight to the Manhattan shops, including Macey’s and then onto Times Square for dinner in The Hard Rock Café.

Sunday 28th October was another busy day. We started at Madison Square Garden for an All Access Tour including a visit to a VIP suite, virtual ice hockey and basketball matches and a Billy Joel concert. Top of the Rock Observatory via a very funky lift and then to Broadway for dinner at Ellen’s Stardust Diner where the waiters and waitresses sing theatre songs (from current and past shows) and dance across the tables. We saw the Broadway show Aladdin at the Old Amsterdam Theatre, 42nd Street and then went to the top of the Empire State Building to take in the view by night.  In the city that never sleeps we were exhausted but utterly thrilled by the day. We all slept well again that night.

Our final day in the Big Apple allowed us to take the ferry tour to the Statue of Liberty and walk to the 9/11 memorial at Ground Zero- a very humbling experience. We transferred to JFK airport for our departure home after what was an amazing trip with wonderful students and fabulous memories.
Following this trip and on top of successfully hosting our partners in June, planning has already begun on another American Exchange with Mechanicsburg High School in 2019.

Would you like to join us?

 

 

 

 

November 2018