PEA Summer Programme Experiences 2016 - Nadia

It was the 22nd of January,2016, 7:20pm I sat on table D4 in the dining hall avidly reading my geography notes when I had this strong urge to check my mail and so I did. Honestly, I had no idea what was coming at me so I thought it was a regular check. At exactly 7:32, I saw a mail with the subject student Exchange with Phillips Exeter Academy, I literally could not believe my eyes and so I rubbed them vigorously and opened them wide as I started to read the content of the mail. In my bid not to scream, and consequently be starred at like I was insane, I cupped my mouth and took deep breaths in and out. I was so baffled, I kept scrolling over one line in my notebook, I was so ecstatic and overjoyed I couldn't contain it. This day, was evidently very pivotal in my life and I don't think I'm ever going to forget it.

Describing my experience at Exeter as amazing is nothing short of an understatement and I'm so not going to use that word.It just doesn't do justice. Exeter was the bomb! Getting the chance to meet like-minded people from 46 other countries ,with different cultures and perspectives broadened my outlook on life and many issues.I made so many friends, majority with whom I'm still in touch. My experiences there were priceless and I am so thankful.

While there, I got involved in some very interesting projects. For me, the most eye-opening was our black lives matter movement. We, the people of color had a couple of get -togethers which were marked with very intense discussions about the racism and police brutality against blacks.These really made me see things from a whole new perspective. Just the thought of having people my age fear for their lives because of their skin color saddened me. This occurrence might seems pretty distant to us but for them, it was and still is so real. We organized a die -in, which was us basically re-enacting the deaths of various black people who had been unfairly killed. We wore all black and stuck the names of victims like Eric Garner, Philando Castile and Tamiir Rice on ourselves. Then, we lay in the grass, under the burning sun. I indeed got an unwanted tan but it was worth it. After assembly, the Caucasians came trooping out to their various classes and saw us dead. They looked so confused, but in the end, there were discussions, some asked questions, others simply didn't seem to care. This is an indelible experience.

Singing is something I am truly passionate about and thankfully, there was a talent show I got involved in. I sang " I will always love you" by Whitney Houston and got a standing ovation after that. I was so ecstatic, I could kill a cockroach...( I have a huge phobia for them) Some of my friends couldn't control their tears and told me, it was a beautiful performance.

Our international assembly was phenomenal! My SOS mates and I who happened to be the only Ghanaians got to present on our nation and it felt so good. We took the opportunity to let them know Africa is not a country but a continent and correct many other misconceptions. As you all know, my dance moves are pretty terrible and so Cecilia, Isabella and Mimi did the dancing as I made the presentation.

 Pertaining to my subjects, I studied Leadership and Society ,Confidence through creativity and Intermediate Conversational French. All in which I got honors as my grades by God's grace and hard work. My confidence through creativity class was packed with so much excitement and genuine passion for acting and it was so much fun working with so many people from all over the world. My teacher , Dr Richards was so handsome and amiable and being his student was such a blessing. My Intermediate Conversational French class was amazing! We couldn't speak English or any other language but French in class and it helped me become more confident in French. My Leadership and Society class was my most favorite! It taught me so much about leadership I didn't know before. Participating in numerous and intense discussions about past leaders and their modes of leadership opened my eyes to many things.

Being part of the Exeter experience was such a great honor. I was able to incorporate skills like critical thinking which I'd learned in my Literature and Thinking Skills classes. Additionally, due to many activities in the school that help to boost confidence, I could partake in a talent show and make a presentation in front of over 700 students from all over the world. These were highly vital skills I'd learned from SOS HGIC. I would like to thank my teachers sincerely for their input,

In conclusion, I would like to thank the Principal, Mr Titi-Ofei , Vice Principal, Mr Akita as well as Miss Dzide, the exchange coordinator for gracing me with such an amazing opportunity. I am immensely grateful.

Nadia Baye