Student Exchange 2019: Student Reflections on Week Nine | Aga Khan Academies

Student Exchange 2019: Student Reflections on Week Nine

17 November 2019

The students have had a busy week this week, particularly in Hyderabad. However, they have had the opportunity to have some fun by participating in a Grand Cultural Fest. Marodbegim Shakarmamadova and Clemence Mwanjele were happy to learn about other cultures and eat some of the food they have been missing, including ugali and Russian salad.

In Mombasa, Anshika Mishra, Mahek Jasani and Iliyan Bhagat have been appreciating a weekly family dinner with their residential families and participating in different sports on Saturdays.

Mombasa Blog: Anshika Mishra, Mahek Jasani & Iliyan Bhagat

Residential life at the Aga Khan Academy Mombasa is something we could never have imagined. Two out of the three of us are residential students at the Aga Khan Academy Hyderabad, and for all three of us the residential experience at the Aga Khan Academy Mombasa is just perfect and unique. All the Exchange students have been divided into different residential families in two residential houses: Nzoia for the girls and Tsavo for the boys. The best part of residential life at the Aga Khan Academy Mombasa for us is the family dinner that takes place every Wednesday, which we don't have at the Aga Khan Academy Hyderabad. On Wednesday all of our family members gather around and have dinner on one table. This family dinner provides us with a chance to bond with our house family members, share our perspectives on different subjects, talk about anything that's bothering us and share how our day or week at the Academy was. Added up, these little things result in great bonding between all of us. The second best part about family dinner is that we get ice cream on this day - amazing!

 For me, Mahek, residential life at the Aga Khan Academy Mombasa is fun especially since I’m a day scholar. On the weekends back home I usually sleep in and spend my day watching television. However, I definitely don’t do that as a residential student here in Mombasa. For all of us the weekend is a completely new experience, especially with the bonding events. 

Every Saturday Nzoia and Tsavo house has different activities with each other and it is super fun. One difference we’ve seen in the weekend activities here in Mombasa is that there are no individual residential house dance parties, which we have in Hyderabad. Aside from that, we have mandatory sports on Saturdays in Mombasa, which includes swimming, basketball, football and more. In addition, to make the day balanced we also have study time. We really like the idea of study time because we are not allowed to use our phones, which helps those of us who get distracted easily! Moreover, the weekend schedule includes a clean-up time where we clean our room. Another difference between the Aga Khan Academy Hyderabad and the Aga Khan Academy Mombasa’s residential programme is morning exercise, which we do three times a week in Mombasa. Overall, residential life at both academies is fun, however, we will definitely miss the various engaging activities and our residential families at the Aga Khan Academy Mombasa.

Hyderabad Blog:  Marodbegim Shakarmamadova and Clemence Mwanjele

There is this wonderful saying that, ‘the beauty of the world lies in the diversity of the people.’ We believe that culture is one of the important aspects that brings out our identities. We are proud of who we are, our origins and our values, beliefs and traditions! We were looking forward to the first cultural Festival in Hyderabad and we were excited and curious to see how it would be.  

 People from The Aga Khan Academy Hyderabad had embraced their cultures in many ways: by singing, dancing and playing traditional instruments. Yet, there was something special that was different from the Aga Khan Academy Mombasa and it was the food stalls! We found food that related to different cultures and countries. We got a chance to eat ugali, a Kenyan delicacy we have been missing so dearly. There were Tajik samosas and a Russian salad that Marodbegim missed the most. We felt an instant connection with other cultures by tasting their food and felt connected to our home countries!  

We prepared a dance performance that represented African countries like Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Congo etc. It was an Afro dance with all its beauty and meaning. Our dance also showed how we can express the love of our culture in different ways like dancing and singing. All of us were really nervous as our performance was last. We thought people here may not like or approve of our performance. But, we are so glad that we were wrong and once again, the Aga Khan Academy Hyderabad proved that the school is diverse and pluralistic. We had so much fun on stage as people were enjoying and cheering for us. Many students came to us later asking if we could teach them the moves to “Gwara Gwara” and “Shaku Shaku.” 

Each culture was expressed and loved by everyone at the Academy. We believe that life is a journey with problems to solve, lessons to learn, but most of all experiences to enjoy! We are happy to be enjoying every bit of this exchange programme!”

Stay Informed

The students have certainly had a busy week! 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!