First Academies student exchange programme to be launched! | Aga Khan Academies

First Academies student exchange programme to be launched!

08 August 2018

Part of His Highness the Aga Khan’s original vision for the Academies was the mobility of students within the network. Students and teachers at AKA Mombasa and AKA Hyderabad have long been aware of each other: they have received a steady stream of visitors, shared knowledge and experience, and even exchanged teachers. The 2018-19 academic year will take these connections one step further, with the launch of the Aga Khan Academies student exchange programme.

The announcement of the programme to students in April marked the beginning of a competitive application process, as grade 8 students at both Academies responded enthusiastically through essays and interviews. Before the last academic year ended, sixteen students from the Aga Khan Academy Hyderabad and fifteen students from the Aga Khan Academy Mombasa were selected to participate in the inaugural programme, which will take place during the first semester of grade 9.

The selected participants from Hyderabad are both day and residential students from various cities, regions and countries, ranging from Bangladesh to Afghanistan, Bihar to Maharashtra. The students from the Academy in Mombasa who will be participating represent Kenya, Rwanda, Tajikistan, Tanzania, and Uganda.

In October 2018 these students will exchange places, each becoming students at the other Academy for seven weeks. Students will be enrolled in regular classes and live in the residences with their local peers. They will explore the local culture and community through enrichment activities, community service, and trips and excursions. This will be a structured programme that supports the Academies’ mission of developing future leaders.

The exchange is designed to help students explore larger questions of cultural identity and to prepare them to lead in increasingly diverse societies. In June 2018 heads of departments from both Academies met in Mombasa to ensure the alignment of the curriculum for the duration of the exchange, and to look at ways in incorporate the wider range of cultural perspectives into the units being taught.  Students will be investigating Literature, History and Arts to gain deeper insight into their own and others’ contexts.

Alexandra Holland, Academic Development Manager for the Aga Khan Academies, said “We’re looking forward to taking advantage of the multiple perspectives offered by the exchange to extend our work connected to the Aga Khan Curricular Strands, and in particular issues connected to Cultures, Pluralism and Ethics. The exchange will offer all grade 9 students the chance to consider issues from East African and Indian perspectives, building a deeper and more nuanced understanding of the world.”

The exchange is hoped to enable participants to navigate the cross-cultural interactions they will increasingly face at university and in their careers. This will be an excellent learning experience for the whole school community, particularly grade 9, as they welcome foreign students into their classes, enrichment activities, and residences.  

Written by Academies Student Mobility Coordinator, Elizabeth MacFarlane