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Friday, August 19, 2016

Bishops College - Cape Town

by Drew Davis
This past July, I had the opportunity to travel to Cape Town, South Africa through MBA's international exchange program. I attended Bishops Diocesan College for four weeks. The high school is a prestigious boy's school known for its rich scholastic history and dominance in rugby. My host family, the Shuttleworth's, provided lovely hospitality and ensured my experience in Cape Town was both exotic and comfortable.

When I arrived, the boys were on Holiday, so I had a few days to tour the city. Cape Town is a lovely spot with a perfect combination of nature and urban life. Highlights included climbing Table Mountain, visiting Robben Island (where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 26 years), seeing the penguins at Boulder's Beach, and going cage diving with the great whites.

The campus life at Bishops is quite similar to MBA's. The Anglican affiliation was the one major difference. Also, boys were required to wear a coat and tie with dark pants and black shoes every day. After a week of the strict dress code, I began to appreciate the freedom MBA offers with its dress code.The school started with chapel each morning at 7:50. As a "matric" exchange, I was able to walk on the prohibited grass with the rest of the Grade 12 boys. The buildings are all white and the classrooms are similar to a motel style, as most rooms are entered from the outside. I studied English, maths, physical science, and geography. I attempted to learn some Afrikaans, but had little success. Athletically, I was able to try field hockey, though a shoulder concern hindered my participation with rugby and cricket.

My visit to Cape Town was truly the trip of a lifetime. I will never forget the memories and connections I made. I am extremely grateful to the Warner family, as well as Mr. Gioia and Mrs. Scholer. Having spoken with the other students, the international exchange program is a life-changing chance.