High school exchange visit opens eyes

2012-10-19 00:00

TEENAGERS are teenagers, no matter whether they live far away in Sweden or here on the South Coast.

That’s what Hanna Hemmingsson of Scandinavia has learnt after spending 17 days in Port Shepstone.

“I realised that we are not necessarily different because we come from different continents. We are all teenagers with the same interests,” she said of her time with the Global Profile project, much of which was organised by the Port Shepstone Twinning Association (PSTA).

“It’s been very educational and I have also learnt a lot about myself,” Hemmingsson added.

She and eight compatriots, who came on the student exchange as part of a school course called Global Profile, attended Marburg Secondary School, Olwandle High School, Ingwe Mabana High School and Nobamba High School.

They stayed with host families.

Bo Hellstrom, a Swedish teacher who accompanied the pupils, said it was interesting for them to learn about sustainable development, local and global issues and the like through experience, rather than from a textbook.

“The pupils take back so much more with them. Apart from the educational exercises, they learn about South African culture,” he said.

Back in April, Jenevieve Chetty from Marburg Secondary had the opportunity to visit Sweden.

She said she was amazed at how independent and responsible Swedish teens were.

“One of the girls I met was 18, in matric and already living on her own. All of them cook, clean and do their own chores. You don’t see that in SA,” she said.

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