Pupils at Lanchester EP Primary School reflect on a life-changing opportunity to visit their partner school in India.

“The opportunity of going to India genuinely blew me away as soon as I heard it. The first thought in my head was that I’m never going to get this chance again. The feeling inside me was electric and I couldn’t sit still.

There was one thing standing in our way and that was the paying. We were having trouble with the visas and that was telling us we might not be able to go but we persevered till the end and were informed that we could still go on.

The day came and in a few more hours I would be up in the air going to the most exciting trip I might ever be on. We loaded on to the bus to take us on a 20 hour trip that felt like an eternity but it was for the adventure. The journey was long and painful but as long as it was, we made it there in the end. We landed in Rajkot airport to set off to the hotel we were staying at.

Each day we had our own adventure and my 3 highlights of the week are the (3)The Zoo (2)The Pink palace (1)Sunshine school.  I made 2 friends at the Sunshine School (Vrudge and Alfez) who befriended me as soon as I started a conversation with them.  All of the students at the school got along very nicely and it was great to talk with them.

The food was great.  As soon as I had some of the Indian food in my mouth, I was astounded at how good it was.  I really liked the chappatis, popadums and wedges.

I feel lucky that I had this opportunity to visit one of the most magnificent countries I’ve known.”

Reuben, Age 10.

“I felt amazed that I had been picked out of a hat to go to India. I had put my name down thinking there’s only a little chance of getting picked and then to get told it was me, was incredible. When I said yes, I didn’t realise how nervous I was going to get, but I had my family to support me so I knew that I was going to be ok.

We did a lot at school to prepare us for the amazing adventure. One of the things they did is Immersion in India club. We were given an India journal at the first session and we could put questions in our journal. One week Mr McLoughlin brought in mango juice, mango chutney and poppadoms to taste which was nice.

It was a very different culture and I learned lots and lots of facts and since being home I’ve shared lots of these with my family and friends. Everything was so different to home, the smells and the roads were very busy. One thing we all learned about the roads is that they honk their horns to let people know they are there, so it’s very noisy all the time as well.

I saw people living in garbage, I could see people going to bins and searching for stuff to make a home; this made me realise how lucky we all are. We went on a trip to the zoo and on that journey, I saw a big slum village, full of rubbish and makeshift homes. Our country is so lucky to have what we have, and I realised when I need something I am lucky enough to get it straightaway.

I learned so much on this trip. At the school we did a session about children’s rights and the things that we need to live, such as clean water, food, shelter. Clean water doesn’t just come out of the tap in India and drinking it can make you unwell. It made me realise how lucky we are to have access to clean, safe drinking water all the time.

I would a hundred percent put my name down for another international trip because it was an experience that I will never ever forget!

Did you know that in 1948 there were only 8 types of a certain cat left in the entire world, and now there are almost 700 in their region? (Gujarat) I know this thanks to the work at the zoo we visited.”

Niamh, Age 10

“I could not believe I was in an actual airport! Taking off was a very strange experience for me, as I’d never been in a real aeroplane before! It was scary, yet intriguing!

Going to India was a journey of a lifetime! “How am I here!?” I thought to myself as I stepped onto the dusty, hot roads of India. Wow! I had never thought that going to India would be so strange! It was like every one of us (the school and me) were celebrities because of the way people stared at us!

The hotel we stayed at was lovely! The food was lovely, the rooms were lovely, and we even got our rooms cleaned! There were TVs and a cooler (a mini fridge basically) – it was like I was getting hypnotised with the greatness!

I rode on a camel! Can you believe it?! (Neither could I!) We also went to this lovely school that did an amazing show! We got a chance to do a folk dance not once, but twice. The school was very kind, we even got gifts! The boys got a holder that you could store things in, and the girls (like me) got a beautiful handbag with immaculate designs and patterns! I loved that school…

I would definitely go back!”

Molly, age 9

Interested in applying for Turing Scheme funding?

The Global School Alliance is delighted to be supporting another cohort of schools with their Turing Scheme funding application and student exchange trip for the academic year of 2023 to 2024.

Our support service includes dedicated support with the application, finding a partner school and organising/delivering the student exchange trip. The cost of this is covered in the ‘organisation support’ aspect of your Turing Scheme funding.

Places are limited so enquire today to find out more.

Register your interest