Student Exchange 2019: The Journey Begins | Aga Khan Academies

Student Exchange 2019: The Journey Begins

05 September 2019

The Aga Khan Academies Student Exchange 2019 is fully underway! Over the next three months, 35 students from the Academies in Mombasa and Hyderabad will ‘exchange’ places, beginning a journey of self-disovery in a new environment.

The students will be immersed into their host Academy’s way of life and will follow the same school day, eat the same food and abide by the same customs as their fellow local students. They will be exposed to new languages and new attitudes. Through soaking up a new way of life, students will be able to not only learn more about their fellow Academies’ students, but they will also discover more about themselves in their new environments. During the trip, students will also have an opportunity to learn more about the work of the Aga Khan Development Network in their host country. 



Photo Gallery

Join our exchange students on their exciting journey from afar, through the recently updated Exchange Photo Gallery.



The Week at a Glance

Proceedings kicked off in Hyderabad on Thursday with a pre-departure session. Students considered their intentions in going on exchange and analysed their expectations, as they wrote letters to themselves to be opened upon their return in December and participated in small group interviews. They were also given the opportunity to ask questions about their upcoming expedition. 

The students travelling from Mombasa departed on Friday after similar pre-departure activities – feeling a little anxious, but enthusiastic to start the journey. Pupils said they were apprehensive about leaving their families for an extended period of time, learning in a new environment and trying new food. However, they were also very excited, with one student saying they were hoping ‘to get a bigger picture of the world outside.’ 

Students from Hyderabad arrived in Mombasa on Friday. They spent the evening meeting students from the previous exchange and settling into their new residences, which would be their home for the next three months. 

Students from Mombasa arrived in Hyderabad early Saturday morning and were greeted by students from their residences, including many of last year’s exchange students, who performed a traditional Tilak ceremony. This is an auspicious ceremony, which symbolises the start of a new relationship and strengthens the bond of friendship. 

The Hyderabad students in Mombasa had a busy day on Saturday; icebreakers were first on the agenda so the students could relax and feel at ease. After a tour of the campus, there were talks on emotional wellness and resilience, followed by a quick introduction to the Kiswahili language. After lunch, the cohort was given their first taste of residential life by joining the regular schedule with their fellow residential students.

On Sunday, the Mombasa students in Hyderabad were able to explore their new campus. They went for a hike with some of the host students and last year’s exchange students, who were on hand to give advice and answer any questions.

After lunch, everyone took part in a scavenger hunt, which allowed them to discover different parts of the campus, as well helping the students to bond. 

Later that evening, the students from Mombasa joined their fellow residential students in Hyderabad for an evening of celebration consisting of a dinner and dance. 

Sunday in Mombasa brought icebreakers in the morning followed by workshops and talks on the Academic curriculum. There was also a surprise in store for two students who were celebrating their birthday. Everyone was treated to some birthday cake as part of the celebration. After lunch students were given the option to go to the shops for any forgotten items, or join in with some sports.

Stay Informed

Stay tuned over the coming weeks to see how the students are getting on with out weekly student blog posts and galleries – and be sure to check our social media pages on Facebook and Instagram!