Exchange Students Share Thoughts on Their Hotchkiss Experience
Round Square students at Hotchkiss

Each year, students from around the world come to live and learn at Hotchkiss for a semester or a marking period as part of the School’s membership in Round Square, an international network of 200 schools in 50 countries. The program offers experiences that help students develop global competence, character, and confidence. Exchange students come to Hotchkiss with a fresh perspective and leave with a deep appreciation for the people, the place, and the academic program.

In the 2018-19 school year, Hotchkiss hosted six exchange students from Australia, Colombia, Peru, and South Africa, as well as a visiting group from our partner school in Germany. In return, eight Hotchkiss students went on exchange to China, Colombia, Germany, and South Africa. 

At the end of last semester, we asked the visiting students about their Hotchkiss experience.

Gus Farara '21, Bishops College, Cape Town, South Africa

 My favorite aspect of Hotchkiss is definitely the amazing sense of community among the students. There was never a time where I wasn’t surrounded by friends; his was what made my exchange truly special. Everyone was so welcoming and willing to get to know me, making my transition to Hotchkiss really easy.  My two-months here were among the best months of my life, and I will never forget the memories I made and the people I met at Hotchkiss.

I learned how to be independent at Hotchkiss. My life in South Africa as a non-boarding student does not offer as much independence compared to my brief stay in Connecticut. Hotchkiss gave me this greater sense of freedom and independence, and I definitely learned a lot from it!

I was surprised by the integration among students in different grades at Hotchkiss. Even though I was a lower midat the time,I developed great friendships with preps, upper mids and seniors due to this sense of community.

Something that every student should do at Hotchkiss is that it offers so much outside of the fantastic academic curriculum and sports program. I think every student should make the most of these opportunities. An important part of one’s schooling is creating long-lasting friendships and unforgettable memories, and getting involved in the Hotchkiss community will help a great deal.

What I want everyone at Hotchkiss to know about my home is there are a lot of preconceived notions surrounding South Africa. Every country has its negatives. However, what isn’t as globally recognized is our rich culture and heritage that is so unique and special and our diverse and totally indigenous wildlife that adds to the complete physical beauty of the nation. It is these unknown aspects of my home that trump the stereotypes of crime and violence. South Africa is an amazing country.

Ana Gomez '21, Colegio Anglo Colombiano, Bogotá, Colombia

 My favorite aspect of Hotchkiss is how people are so welcoming, inclusive and passionate about what they do, as well as the learning environment.

I learned that time management is the key to everything at Hotchkiss.

I was surprised by the amazing and endless opportunities it has, including co-curricular activities and clubs.

Something that every student should do at Hotchkiss is try a range of different things they would not usually do, as well as meet as many different people as possible.

What I want everyone at Hotchkiss to know about my home is that although it is true that Colombia has gone through difficult times that are known worldwide, such as guerrilla warfare or drug-trafficking, Colombia is much more than what it is known for. It is a diverse country full of different colors, tastes, traditions and cultures. Also, Colombian people are known for their joyful attitude and the smile they always carry on their faces. I would like people to know that although Colombia has some flaws, it is a beautiful country.

Gloria Lim '21, MLC Sydney, Australia

 I was initially intimidated and overwhelmed by the academic standards  Hotchkiss, which I why I was truly surprised by the extremely tight-knit, encouraging community that is willingly supportive and happy to guide you past your struggles.

Something every student should do is immerse themselves within the Hotchkiss culture and do not be afraid to speak to the amazing students earlier on so you can get the most out of your experience without regrets.

Luis Tomás Orozco Vaca '22, Colegio Los Nogales, Bogotá, Colombia

At Hotchkiss, I learned that being surrounded by people that are interested in learning is a key factor to being so yourself.

 I was surprised by the autonomy of students at Hotchkiss.

Something every student at Hotchkiss should do is to try to know as many perspectives of politics and the world in general as they can.

What I want every student at Hotchkiss to know about Colombia is that it is not the same country it was 30 years ago.




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