Sewickley Academy exchange trip savoured by Perse pupils
12 Jun 2019
With five students from Sewickley Academy coming over to visit their Perse exchange partners in Cambridge next week, the Year 9 pupils who travelled to the USA, reflect on their recent stay in Pittsburgh.
When we arrived in Washington DC, we went straight to the American History Museum, where we learnt a lot about the culture before then walking to the famous Washington food trucks. After we had demolished our tasty food, we went to the World War II Memorial, whilst passing the Washington Monument and the Korean War Memorial. We also saw the cherry blossoms, which we are told is very rare. Finally, we went to the Lincoln Memorial, where we all got pictures with Lincoln’s statue.
I wanted to do the American Exchange for several reasons, but the main one was the differences in culture. It doesn’t matter how much you look at a country through the media, it will never be able to show you the full experience of seeing that place in person. America is a unique country as every state tends to be different, with different customs and habits.
Whilst seeing Pittsburgh, Sewickley and Washington DC was really cool and I had a lot of fun, the best part of the exchange for me was the people, especially the family I stayed with. They took me to a ton of places, but the most memorable were the ice hockey game, which was a lot colder than I thought it would be – guess I forgot about the ice part in the name of the sport! – and a magic show. Overall, it was really great and a fun experience and I’m really excited for the Sewickley students to come over to England.
During our wonderful visit to America, we managed to visit the Pittsburgh Strip District. We went into a variety of different shops, many of which had clothing dedicated to the Penguins, Steelers and Pirates sports teams. At first, we went into a small fish market and spoke to some lovely locals. After visiting lots of shops and buying some Pittsburgh souvenirs, we went and had ice cream. It was a great trip into the city centre that helped us to get an insight into the life of a local Pittsburgher and I would recommend it to everyone visiting the area.
My trip to Philadelphia was so much fun. Even just travelling there was interesting as you got to see many different and new things on the way. My favourite part about the trip must have been the interactive museum we visited, as I found the talk about American independence and the ways in which you could tell if you could vote quite enlightening. I also really enjoyed the pizza we tried in Philadelphia and the slavery museum.
For our day of service, we went to Life’s Choice, a place where they source jobs for people with disabilities. We redecorated the bulletin boards around the building and helped with the party they were throwing. We got to meet some of the people working there and understand how Life’s Choice can really change people’s lives. We helped with the party and got to meet some more of the employees.
It was also a great way to finish off our time at Sewickley Academy, with a nice relaxing day to understand some of the school life outside of lessons. I really enjoyed my time at Sewickley and seeing some of the contrasts between the two schools. My favourite part was trying the different sports and everyone made me feel welcome on the team.