From Watson Dill's Perspective:
The Warner Exchange to Melbourne Grammar School was an experience I will never forget. Flying around the world to see a culture that is so distinct from ours is something not many students around the world get to experience while in high school. The trip started off with me landing in Melbourne early in the morning and despite my jet lag, I was greeted by my host family, the Kristof’s and we toured the city, getting to see some of Melbourne’s most famous landmarks.
*View of the South Yarra River with the Melbourne Cricket Ground in the back.
As the weekend grew to a close, I collected my uniform and got ready for the first day of school on Monday.
*Me with Jackson Kristof for our first day of school
Throughout my time at the school I was able to take part in some unforgettable moments. For example, I was able to take part in the chapel choir where we sang in their on-campus chapel every Friday morning. Also, I played on one of their six soccer teams where I was able to play three soccer games throughout the city of Melbourne. What I found most surprising about their culture was how inclusive they were. The choir and soccer team took me in and wanted me to experience life at their school.
*Picture of Ian and l at the front of the school
The next week was filled with adventure as I got the opportunity to attend two AFL matches which contained some of my favorite moments of my trip. The game was so fast paced and the fans were very invested in their respective teams. Next, I went to Healesville Sanctuary. Here I got to pet kangaroos, see the biggest pelicans I had ever seen in my life, koalas, and so many other animals that we do not get to see very often. The week ended with host family taking me up to see some of their family friends on the coast where we enjoyed walks on the beach and a BBQ by the fire.
*Picture of the MCG
*Pictures of the kangaroos and pelicans at the Healesville Sanctuary
*View of the beach in Sorrento
As my trip drew to a close, we spent the last few days playing intense matches of ping pong, went bowling, and ate at some places that serve some of the best food I have ever had. I would like to thank the Kristof family and Jackson Kristof for making my trip so memorable and for filling my trip with laughter, joy, and great memories that I will hold on to for the rest of my life. I would also like to thank the Warner family, the Whitson family, Mrs. Scholer, and Mr. Gioia for allowing to me have this amazing experience.
*Picture of the Kristof’s taking pictures behind my back as I bowl.
*Picture of the Melbourne skyline
From Ian Beyer's Perspective:
My time at Melbourne Grammar School was full of new experiences, friendships, and unforgettable moments. Because I was not only a Melbourne Grammar student but also lived with a host family, I was able to experience the life of a Melbourne citizen for an entire month.
After driving my car to school for the past few years, I learned to commute how people in a city the size of Melbourne do everyday. Instead of a car, I independently used the tram and train of the city. I enjoyed figuring out the system even if I had no idea where I was going.
At Melbourne Grammar School, the classes, teachers, and students are very similar to MBA. Unlike some exchanges, I could choose the classes that I found most interesting. All the teachers and students asked many questions and loved hearing about MBA and Nashville. I never felt uncomfortable in any class because everyone was so engaging and welcoming with me. I felt as if I was going to school with friends I had known my entire life.
Some of my best times in Melbourne included exploring the city on the weekends. I visited the most popular museums and sports stadiums, traveled to the top of the tallest building, and walked down the crowded streets full of various stores and restaurants that brought more life to the already vibrant city.
The most memorable moment on my time abroad was the first night. Although I was suffering from extreme jet lag, my host family took me to an Australian Football League Match that included their favorite team, the Essendon Bombers. I loved learning about and watching a sport I had never seen before because of its uniqueness in style and passion demonstrated by the fans for the game. From that moment, I knew I was going to love my time abroad with my host family because of their compatible and warm spirit.
I would like to thank the Warner Family, the Whitson Family, Mr. Gioia, and Mrs. Scholer for making this whole exchange possible.
*First night in Melbourne at an AFL Match with my host brother, Leonardo
*Me in Melbourne Grammar’s uniform
*Federation Square in downtown Melbourne across the street from the main train station, Flinders Street Station
*My visit to the Melbourne Cricket Ground or “The G” for a AFL Match between two local football clubs
*Koala Bear sleeping high in the tree at Healesville Sanctuary during a school field trip
*Statue representing the first game of Australian rules football between Melbourne Grammar School and Scotch College
*The student section of Melbourne Grammar before the historical game between their main rival, Scotch College
*Beautiful view of Port Phillip Bay, an hour drive down the coast from Melbourne
*My host family, friends, and myself going to a broadway show in the city one night