Our exchange with Darwin began in 1998. 15 years later we are still hosting students from Darwin Australia, and a number of our students travellled to St. Johns High School in Darwin on the 18th April and returned on the 3rd May 2014. Mr Scales and Ms. Dolan accompanied them.
Banagher College Student Exchange to St. Johns College, Darwin.
Méabh Doorley’s account of their experience
On Thursday the 17th of April we left Shannon Airport and made our long journey to Australia. Our route was Shannon – Heathrow, London- Kuala Lumper, Malaysia – Darwin, Australia. We reached Darwin on Saturday 19th of April at 4:50. We were exhausted when we arrived but also excited as we could not believe that we were really in Australia and we did not realise how good our 2 weeks were going to be.
Our first few days were family days and over those days we got to know our hosts really well. They were very welcoming and friendly. Our hosts brought us to see jumping crocs which was a cruise on a river where we saw massive crocodiles leaping out of the water. It was surreal and looking back through my photos I still can’t believe I was that close to crocodiles.
On Tuesday of the first week we packed our bags and went on camp for 3 days with the school. On the first day of camp we were given the rules and regulations of the camp and to watch out for snakes, we did a 5km walk to a tavern and ate and walked back to camp. We also went to Mount Bundy where we visited a waterfall and went swimming.
We really saw what it was like in outdoor Australia while on camp. We heard and saw all the different insects and animals that were flying and running around. I have to say I was frightened by all the cane toads hopping around and keeping an eye out for snakes while walking to the bathroom at night but it was a great experience.
On the second week we visited the school, St. John’s Catholic College in Darwin with whom we have been doing a student exchange with for years. We got an insight into what it’s like in school in Australia. The first thing that I noticed when I arrived in school with my host was that it was very laid back, in class some students around me had their phones out while the teacher was teaching. I was shocked at this because phones are prohibited from class in our school. They also don’t have big examinations like the Junior and Leaving Certificates. They are given assignments which have to be handed in by a certain date and their teacher marks all the assignments throughout the year.
We also went to different national parks on the second week where I saw many animals like wallabies, crocodiles, monkeys and snakes and got to hold some of them.
On the final day we went to a wave pool and we had our final dinner that night with our hosts and a few of the teachers.
The trip went in the blink of an eye. I really enjoyed my time in Australia as I got to learn what life was like on the other side of the world. My hosts were also very welcoming which made my stay even better. I had the time of my life in Australia and I will never forget this trip.
Darwin Students Visit Banagher
On 24 Sept 2013 a group of Australian students arrived in Banagher. We warmly welcome them and hope the group, comprising of 10 students and 2 teachers will thoroughly enjoy their stay here. They will stay with families locally and will experience school life with our students here in Banagher.
While they are here they got an opportunity to visit many local attractions.
On friday 27th September the Australian Ambassador Dr. Ruth Adler visited our school and met our Australian exchange students. She addressed the teachers and students visiting us, and the staff and students of Banagher College at a school assembly. She was presented with a gift made from bog oak.
The Australian teachers presented a gift of two framed prints depicting scenes from Darwin.