G’day mates! The Australian exchange students have arrived!
Four students from Barker College – Mary McCorry, Isla Stevenson, Fergus Berney-Gibson, and Adam Hamilton – have been prepping for their five-week adventure over the past year. They began their school year in February when they had to apply for exchange. The Texas exchange is only open to Year 10 students, so out of the 342 students in the class, around 80 students applied for the four spots. The 80 plus students had to wait until August to find out who the lucky four would be.
In early October, the Dean of Students at All Saints’, Wallace Worden, began searching the school for students willing to host the Australians. Worden was able to find a home for all four Barker students just in time for all parties to contact each other at least a week before the Australians boarded the plane.
The four students were chosen due to the academic excellence and diversity in terms of extracurricular activities.
Mary and Isla are the two girls who were for exchange. Mary is a burst of happy energy! She ran through the Dallas-Fort Worth airport doors towards her host, McKenzie Keetch’16 (and the rest of the Keetch family), ready for her American adventure to begin. At Barker, she focuses her time on theatre and her studies, and she manages to make time to fill her required sport credits. If you are looking for her in Australia, you would find her on stage performing or in uniform on the Netball court. However, she’s not in Australia anymore! Since arriving in Texas, she has been fully immersed in All Saints’ homecoming and has eaten way more food than her tummy can handle. Her favorite fast-food so far is Whataburger, and she is impressed by how schools in Texas have cafeterias. Isla also spends quite a bit of time focusing on her studies, but instead of performing, she enjoys learning –behind the scenes– skills on crew. Since arriving, she has already spent days dressing up in Greek and 80s attire and attending a sleepover with her host, Corynne Hammit’17. So far she LOVES Raising Cane’s sauce, and runs up to the junior girls like they have been best friends forever.
The two Year 10 boys chosen are Fergus and Adam. Fergus is known for being a great artist at Barker College. The students there are required to do a big project for their classes, and students can count on Fergus to create something magnificent. His first day at All Saints’ was one to remember as it was his 16th birthday! (Happy late birthday Fergus!) The four exchange students and host families threw together a small birthday party to celebrate where he was gifted his first Fort Worth, Texas t-shirt and TCU gear. It is hard to spot him in the halls because he blends right in with the rest of the All Saints’ students. Adam, similar to Isla, has already bonded with all his host’s, Cade Crow’17, friends. At Barker, Adam is not only a scholar but he spends most of his extracurricular time focusing on sport. He enjoys playing touch-football and cricket. Adam joked about how when he tries to play basketball, he is more likely to make a basket throwing the ball like in rugby rather than a typical basketball shot. So far Adam has experienced food just like the other three, and was amazed by how good the Chick-fil-a chicken nuggets were. (He ended up buying multiple meals worth because he enjoyed them so much!)
It has been less than a week since the Aussies have arrived, yet they are all already fitting in with the rest of the Texans. Mary is already using the term “y’all,” and Isla wore denim to the all-school bonfire! After five weeks, it will be interesting to see just how Americanized they become; who knows, maybe a little time at Billy Bob’s will send them home with country accents and a love for boot-stomping music.