PMB pupils to get a taste of the American way of life

2014-08-11 00:00

TWO Pietermaritzburg pupils will be getting a taste of a different culture when they join their host families in the U.S. on exchange programmes.

Calyn Joy Reddy (16), a Grade 11 Carter High School pupil, and Mbali Khumalo (15), a Grade 10 Alexandra High School pupil, form part of the Kennedy/Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Programme and will spend the next 10 months overseas.

They leave for the U.S. today.

The students will join 20 other pupils from around South Africa and eight from Mozambique on the programme.

Calyn, from Bombay Heights in Northdale, said, “I know for a fact that this will be an experience of a lifetime; I don’t mind giving up on a year of school here.”

Calyn said she was excited to have been selected to go to Iowa to experience a life as an American teenager.

“I will catch up with my studies when I come back in June/July next year,” she said, adding the programme will expose them to many nationalities, which will broaden her outlook in life.

An excited Mbali, from Glenwood, credited the tuckshop lady at her school for encouraging her to apply.

“I did not apply cause I thought I was under age, but Mrs Oellerman, our tuckshop lady at school, advised me to try it out.”

Mbali said the valuable lesson from being selected is that “assumption is a recipe for disaster”. “I say this because I assumed I wouldn’t be selected because of my age, but it turned out not to be true so I disqualified myself.”

She will be based in Utah and will be studying at the Bountiful Senior High School. “I’m hoping to maximise every opportunity, and to come back home a better person,” said Mbali.

She said while learning about other cultures, she also hoped to teach them about her culture.

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