Madras prepares for US visitors

The Madras pupils on the field at the PSU football stadium
The Madras pupils on the field at the PSU football stadium

Pupils at Madras College are looking forward to March when they will welcome visitors from Ohio on the second leg of a school exchange.

In October, a group of 16 pupils and two teachers from the St Andrews school headed across the Atlantic to stay with students on Upper Arlington High School – and now they are preparing to welcome their hosts to Scotland.

The 10-day visit to Ohio was an exciting experience for the Madras group, and they hope their exchange partners will enjoy coming over here just as much.

Lydia Upton, one of the Madras pupils, said the trip to Ohio had been “fantastic”.

She added: “We were incredibly grateful for the effort and work put in by Upper Arlington High School and the American parents and pupils, which ensured the trip was an outstanding experience.

“The friends made have been greatly missed, and we’re looking forward to welcoming them to St Andrews in March 2014.”

The Madras pupils initially visited Upper Arlington High School to meet their hosts and were soon immersed in a very different school culture and set of traditions.

They attended the high school homecoming American football game, and backed by their cheering visitors, the Upper Arlington team achieved a well-deserved victory.

The group also visited Columbus Zoo and Aquarium where pupils were given a special tour of the gorilla, polar bear and brown bear enclosures.

After learning about these animals the pupils explored the different regions of the zoo and had a very enjoyable day seeing the many different species in the zoo.

Later in the week, they toured Ohio State University seeing many aspects of the large campus.

Lydia said: “A highlight of the trip was the visit to the Buckeyes’ OSU football stadium where we had the opportunity to step out ont o the field. Standing in the middle, looking up at the size of the stadium was an incredible experience.

The home of the Buckeyes holds over 100,000 people. The visit included a tour of the press boxes right at the top of the stadium and sitting in the practice room of the famous Ohio State marching band.”

As the trip was close to Halloween, a mock Halloween night was arranged for the pupils. Dressed in weird and wonderful costumes, the Scots and Americans set off for a night of ‘trick or treating’. After several houses, and many bags of candy the rest of the evening was spent carving spooky faces into pumpkins and enjoying the sweets.

Lydia continued: “On the last day, the pupils and their exchange partners journeyed to the world renowned theme park, Cedar Point.

“Everyone rushed through the gates, immediately heading for the extreme rides. After a day of reaching high speeds and racing round corkscrews, we returned home feeling thrilled, if slightly dizzy!”