Study Tours

Students have encountered unique regions of the world ranging across Asia and Europe.

St Margaret’s Berwick Grammar offers students an array of opportunities to explore the world. The School ardently encourages students to take part in international tours that are conducted annually, serving the interests of students academically and personally.

Tours are designed as a tool for cultural and educational enrichment.

International and domestic tours are often encompassed as an element of the school curriculum and are thus referred to as study tours. The School is committed to providing all students with a varied and practical educational experience, and students are therefore encouraged to participate in tours that serve their curricular interests, whether musical, academic, or language-based.

Study Tours expand student horizons and provide valuable insights to their world view.

Students who travel to China gain valuable insight into the geographical and historical significance of the country while embracing its broad cultural diversity. Alternatively, students can travel to France to study the French language, absorb the wonderful culture, and explore historical links. Tours as such also provide students with the unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the local culture through a homestay program.

Our school has a strong social justice program that is complimented by a unique overseas service and learning trip through Northern Thailand and Laos. This program provides outstanding opportunities for students and staff to engage in a contemporary program that balances personal challenge, adventure, and service.

"It was such an unforgettable experience that we will never forget and have made so many new friends and memories. We also greatly appreciated the teachers for sharing the experience with us."

by Ricci Hartman

With its long history and its rich culture, China is the first place to go to experience an entirely different lifestyle. The 2015 China tour was certainly a once-in-lifetime trip, with every day filled with exciting and interesting sights, smells and sounds. Over a period of thirteen days, a group of twenty St Margaret’s Berwick Grammar students visited four of China’s vast and populous cities: Beijing, its capital, Xi’an, Hangzhou and Shanghai, each
with its own history and atmosphere.

From the Great Wall in Beijing, to the Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an, there were many amazing and wonderful attractions that were observed and explored, providing many photo opportunities that will last a lifetime. Looking down at Shanghai on a glass floor in the Oriental Pearl TV tower was a fantastic highlight of the trip, as well as tobogganing down from the Great Wall of China to ground level. Many art galleries and sculptural districts were also visited, where we tried our hand at the ancient art of calligraphy.

Apart from visiting areas that are synonymous with Chinese history, we also went to a number of local markets, in which we had the opportunity to bargain with determined vendors, and cheaply buy anything we desired with our foreign currency. While the indoor markets sold anything from clothes to electronics, the outdoor markets offered foods such as silkworms and live scorpions on skewers.

One of the highlights during the tour was when we witnessed a variety of musical, theatrical and acrobatic
shows, which showed off traditional dances, as well as insane death-defying performances. This was definitely
entertaining for all of the students.

The tour offered us a chance to not only learn about China’s very ancient past, but also its present way of life. Each of us had the wonderful opportunity to visit one of Hangzhou’s top rated high schools, and live with one of their student’s family for three days. This was a highlight of the tour, as we each had individual, close-up experiences that were unique to all of us. The host families were very friendly and inviting, showing me the best that Hangzhou has to offer.

This experience allowed us to fully immerse ourselves in the day-to-day life of a Chinese family, experiencing
school and home life, transport, shopping, food, popular attractions, and what people do in their leisure time. My favourite part of homestay was singing at KTV with my homestay guest and his friends, which is where one can go into a specialized room to sing karaoke to songs of their choice.

During the tour, we went on a culinary journey, trying a large variety of traditional Chinese food in high-quality
restaurants, one from a dizzying height of 267 meters. A tantalizing mixture of spices and interesting meats and vegetables intrigued our taste buds, always making us want more. We also went to one of the most famous
restaurants in Beijing, specialising in their world-renowned Peking duck, a meal we all thoroughly enjoyed.

As a student learning Chinese as a subject, I found the tour especially exciting, as it allowed me to observe
others using their native dialect. I found myself understanding more than I thought I would, having plenty of time to practice what I have learned throughout school, even conversing with the locals at some stages of the tour. I think that immersing myself in the Chinese language has helped me test my understanding of the language and also helped me improve it, giving me confidence in my own reading and speaking abilities.

During this time, I have created and strengthened many friendships, with not only St Margaret’s and Berwick
School students, but also my homestay students and his classmates. The tour was well assembled and
organised, ensuring that, through the care of our delightful teachers, we experienced the best of every aspect of China. This journey will surely be very difficult to forget.

by Ted Purcell and Nic Zappia

France… the land where snails reside on dinner plates instead of garden beds, where music lives on every street corner, where, at dinner time, cheese gets its own course and fine French bread is an inescapable pleasure. Almost as abundant as baguettes, the charm of France is just omnipresent… From the astonishing heights of the Eiffel Tower to the underground Metro railway stations of Paris, France’s long and rich culture shines through. Selected St Margaret’s Berwick Grammar students were privileged to go and see the wonder and splendour that is France. From visiting the sprawling metropolis that is Paris, exploring the ancient foundations of the modernised city of Lyon, viewing the sombre experience that was ‘The Somme Battlefields’ and being a part of the almost combustible magic that was Disneyland, all came together to create a purely unforgettable journey with a truly wonderful group of people. A trip of a lifetime doesn’t begin to describe this magnificent voyage, but rather ‘C’est si bon’.

A rigorous unique course designed to foster an international mindset in a highly connected and complex world.
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Tours are designed as a tool for cultural and educational enrichment.
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Tours are designed as a tool for cultural and educational enrichment.

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