Vina del Mar

The exchange to Chile, also part of the Margaret School Network, is offered to students in Year 12 and 13. The students travel to Vina del Mar where they attend school at St Margaret's British School for Girls. Around ten-twenty students are offered a place on this two to three week exchange that takes place during the term one school holidays (April/May). The girls experience living in a new country exposed to a new culture and lifestyle inside and outside the classroom that they are able to learn about. As this is a biannual trip, Queen Margaret College hosts students from Chile in return.

"Our immediate impression of Chile was of a country filled with warmth and smiling faces and after a two hour bus ride through scenic landscapes we arrived at our final destination, Vina del Mar. The majority of us were living with families where the parents had a minimal understanding of English, which meant we were truly immersed in the Spanish language. On one occasion we visited the famous Chilean poet Pablo Neurda's house. We were allowed to explore a local mall and also visited the Government house where to our excitement we received a friendly greeting from the First Lady. We attended school from 7.50am to 4.30 pm and we were given timetables allowing us to choose from a variety of subjects. The most popular school activity however was helping in the infant school, where their level of English amazed us. We went to places where we saw the massive poverty and extreme economic inequality that exists in Chile and this was an eye opener for us. At the end what made the trip for us were the Chilean people. The opportunities and experiences that this exchange brought us were unbelievable, forming lifelong friendships, experience and most of all a new family away from home."

- Maxine Glogau, Year 13