The Real God
Manvay Rawat, Class IX G
Maria Malik was selected by AFS for a Short Term Reciprocal Programme to Germany.
She was hosted by a Germany family and also attended school there. Being a part of this programme was a wonderful and enriching experience for her.
She shares her experience below :
The AFS reciprocal program was by far my best experience. It was beyond something I had expected it to be.
I have not only learnt how to be independent but also how to interact with new people and establish a bond that would be lifelong.
The host family was truly amazing – so loving , caring and so much fun. On my part all I had to do is engage in the conversations and spend time with the family members. This was an easy step that bought us closer each day. I just had to push away all the shyness I hid in me and breathe in the new space I was in.
We were in Austria for hiking thrice in two months and it was a stupefying experience. We went for biking, celebrations, dinners, carnivals … the list is endless.
Everyday was a new experience wherein I learnt something worth recalling time and again. I have built a strong connection with the city and the house I lived in , but what’s even stronger is the association with my host family , my friends and the wonderful memories that I will cherish all my life . And also not to forget the dearest dog ,Aika !
These six weeks have truly been the most amazing weeks of my life and I will cherish this experience forever.
On an otherwise long and uneventful summer day, about 40 Shishyans from Classes X-XII had the opportunity to attend the Effect + Workshop conducted by Mrs. Sarita Badhwar ( Consultant, AFS India) which invoked an insightful perspective on the ripples an individual can create in this world. Each activity was focused on giving students a hands-on experience of concepts like the Butterfly Effect. The directed flow of content throughout the workshop gave students the understanding of the modern-day application of textbook ideals. While developing themselves into globally aware citizens and change-makers, students reflected on the niche they hold in society.
Through a running discussion on UNDP’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), students were made to understand the gravity of the situation. Breaking down global issues like economic disparity, the activities encouraged everyone to look at them with a new perspective. An embodiment of the famous slogan “Think Global, Act Local,” the activities led students to consider how the smallest acts can bring about a difference. Students were asked to develop their own definitions of everything from sustainable development to global citizenship. The workshop was a truly engaging affair that introduced students to the true meaning of intercultural learning and global competence.
The school organized an excursion to Singapore for the students of Classes VII & VIII . According to the students and educators, the five day stay at Singapore has given them lovely memories which they will cherish forever. Their trip was packed with thrilling experiences at this beautiful island nation.
The Singapore Botanic Gardens, Marina Bay Sands Sky Park, Gardens by the Bay, the Singapore River Cruise, Universal Studios, Jurong Bird Park, River Safari, Adventure Water Cove at Sentosa and the Siloso Beach – all contributed to an everlasting experience. Universal Studios seemed to have fascinated our students the most.
Along with all the fun and enjoyment, they learnt important life skills like adjusting with their peer group in a new environment, learning to be independent, appreciating people and respecting their way of life. The accompanying educators observed great camaraderie among this enthusiastic group of fourteen students. While travelling by bus within Singapore, they loved chatting and marvelling at the magnificent buildings of the country. This trip was overall a great learning experience for the students as well as the educators.
Reciprocating the visit of Shishyans to Russia in May 2018, a group of 9 students accompanied by a teacher visited Indore in November 2018 for 12 days. Shishyans were eagerly awaiting their friends arrival and extended warm hospitality to them during their stay in the city.
Their programme in school began with a special assembly wherein they were introduced to the students. Special classes were arranged for these students covering basic Hindi, Science, Math, Indian History and also Geography. They also spent time in the Science Labs trying out various experiments to understand the science concepts. Trips were also arranged for them to Mandu, Maheshwar, Ujjain and of course a visit to Chappan Dukan, Rajwada and the Aada Bazaar. Every effort was made to make them experience the ‘real’ India.
Before their departure, a farewell was organized for them in which they performed a Russian dance.
They left Indore with wonderful memories, knowing that they have a home and school in the city. With promises to visit India again, they bid us adieu.
For the fifth consecutive year, Shishukunj hosted 09 American students under the NSLI-Y programme. This very prestigious programme, promoted by the US Department of State sends students to India for a period of 06 weeks to learn Hindi. To get a feel of the real flavour of India these students were hosted by Shishyans in their homes.
Special Hindi classes were held for these students and every effort is made to make their stay in India a memorable one. The host families gone out of their way to make them feel welcome at home. Besides studying Hindi, they were also taken for sight seeing to Mandu, Maheshwar and other nearby places. Enjoying the local food of Indore, remains one of their favourite pastimes.
A report by Mrs. Abhilasha Umahiya and Mr. Thomson Varghese
The exchange trip to Russia(Surgut) was a learning experience, full of pleasant surprises and kindness shown through words and deeds by the host families and the teachers of the Solnechny school.
The gracious welcome that we received at Surgut airport was just a glimpse of the hospitality which expanded beyond our expectation during our stay in Surgut.
The classes/activities at the school, like the Russian classes, art and craft, dance and music, basketball and football matches, etc had been thoughtfully and meticulously planned, keeping us interested and engaged throughout our presence at the school. The excursions to places around Surgut played a pivotal role in introducing us to Russian culture and tradition.
The gracious welcome that we received at Surgut airport was just a glimpse of the hospitality which expanded beyond our expectation during our stay in Surgut .The host families went out of the way to make us feel at home, taking care of all our needs.
The press-conference on the first day and the farewell program on the last day of our stay made us feel very important.
While parting with us the host families and the school showered us with gifts reflecting their hearts full of warmth for their guests with whom they had developed loving bonds.
The students and the teachers of The Shishukunj International School feel fortunate to have been a part of this program . It exposed them to a new people and their culture. We express a heartfelt gratitude for being given this opportunity.
08 volunteers from AFS Hungary visited the school on 06 October 2017. They visited the entire school campus and were impressed with the infrastructure and opportunities provided by the school to its students. During this campus tour, they took time out to play a game of table tennis , dance to a few Bollywood numbers and also try their hand at the potter’s wheel. The traditional Indian lunch had them literally licking their fingers !
It was a short but a very warm visit that truly left a mark in our minds and hearts.
19 students with 2 educators visited the Land of the Rising Sun. Japan was an eye-opener in all respects – the cleanliness, discipline and organization. It was something one had to see to believe. The highlight was a visit to a school in Osaka and the interaction with students and teachers. It was undoubtedly an experience of a lifetime!
The visit to US was an equally fascinating and enriching trip. The participants—17 students and 2 teachers—had a memorable time at various attractions that America has to offer, be it the bewitching world of Harry Potter and Disney Land or the out-of-the-world experience at the Kennedy Space Centre. The group also visited the dream universities MIT and Harvard.
For the fourth consecutive year Shishukunj was delighted to host ten American students for a six-week Hindi learning programme. These students come to India on a full scholarship offered by the US State Department. Besides their Hindi lessons, what they remember for a lifetime is their experience of staying with the host families who go out of their way to make sure they feel at home in India as well.
Shishyan Nakul Goel of Class XI D was selected to participate in the MIT Launch Programme conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, U S A from 08 June – 06 July 2016. He was among 70 participants from 23 countries who were at MIT to hone their entrepreneurial skills and interact and network with students from across the world.
It has been a once in a life time experience for him and is sure going to help widen his horizons and give him a global outlook?.
07 students from the school embarked on a wonderful intercultural programme which involved sightseeing as well as a home stay in Hungary. The programme started with a 12 day sightseeing trip with students from all over the world. This was a very enriching experience for the students as they not only got an opportunity to see the art and culture of Budapest but see it with friends from different countries. The home stay which followed gave them a firsthand experience of Hungarian culture and family life. Attending school also gave them an insight into the educational system of Hungary.
They returned with wonderful memories and a bagful of friends from across the world!
The students who were selected to go on this trip were:
Divik Silawat of Class 11 A
The program to Hungary began with a 12 day trip covering Budapest and all important places in Hungary. This experience was wonderful as we explored the country accompanied by friends and other exchange students from across the world. This program was followed by a 2 week Homestay program where I stayed with my host family in Balassagyarmat, a small town in Hungary. I also had the opportunity to visit Slovakia. The most memorable experiences were visiting the local places in the town, tasting traditional Hungarian food and the visit to a water park in Slovakia. My host school was a Gymnasium where students were given daily physical education lessons in the morning along with other lessons. The school gave maximum English lessons to kids to improve their English. I, as an exchange student, had the opportunity to give a presentation on India which was appreciated by all. This experience of being an AFS ambassador was amazing. I shall always cherish not only the wonderful memories but also the wonderful friends I made during this trip.
The six weeks whizzed by in a bat of an eyelid!
The 08 American students who were hosted by the school as part of the NSLI – Y programme had a very enriching stay in Indore. The special classes held for them in school did wonders to their language skills and they could confidently carry out a conversation in Hindi by the end of their six week stay. Besides the Hindi classes, they also got an opportunity to immerse themselves into the Indian way of life – bonding with the host families , savouring the delicacies at Sarafa or Chappan Dukan or visiting Mandu and Ujjain – they did it all.
We look forward to their next visit to India – whenever that may be. But we would surely have them know that they have a home here in Indore !
Arnav Abhyankar of Class X was selected by AFS to participate in a two month Reciprocal Exchange Programme to Germany between April – June 2016. As part of this programme, Arnav was hosted by a German student , Mast. Felix Amar Honeckar from Stuttgart. Felix and his family played the perfect hosts during Arnav’s stay in Germany- from providing Indian food, to taking him sight seeing to Paris and Brussels and even teaching him German , they did it all.
Arnav has now returned to India , very enriched and rejuvenated and has evolved into a true International ambassador!
His German host, Felix will be hosted by the school from July – September 2016.
Akshat Vora, Omisha Purohit, and Tanya Rajani have been selected by AFS to participate in an Intercultural Summer Camp in Malaga, Spain in July – August 2016. This camp involves staying and interacting with students from across the world and participating in a variety of cultural and sporting activities for the entire duration of the camp.
Aliya Sheikh was selected by AFS to participate in a Short Term Student Exchange Programme to Denmark in October 2015. Her month long stay in this country helped her to truly understand and appreciate the Danish way of life.
Nandini Zalani, Jahanvi Upadhaya, Mitali Khatwani, Rhea Navlani and Rhea Singhi were selected by AFS to participate in an Intercultural Summer Camp in Malaga, Spain in July – August 2015. Staying and interacting with students from across the world and participating in a variety of cultural and sporting activities for the entire duration of the camp widened their horizons and gave them a global outlook.
Sarthak Sethi of Class XI was selected by AFS to participate in a Short Term exchange Programme to Italy from July – August 2015. Staying with an Italian family for a month gave him the opportunity to fully immerse himself in the Italian culture and way of life. He returned to India, very enriched and rejuvenated and with a truly global outlook !
After a very successful excursion to U.S. A in the summer of 2015, the school sent another group of students from Classes VII- X to Dubai and Abu Dhabi in January 2015. Accompanied by 06 teachers from the school , the students visited all the man made wonders that these cities have to offer. 05 days seemed to pass by at super sonic speed but they were filled with fun , friends , food and a lot of learning and togetherness with friends and teachers.
The school was happy to host Ms.Kathrina Buchthal from Germany as part of the Short Term Reciprocal Exchange Programme. Kathrina stayed with us for two months and was hosted by Ms. Fatema Rani Presswala. She attended classes regularly and took part in all the school activities. She also had the opportunity to visit nearby places of Indore like Mandu, Maheshwar, Ujjani, etc. along with the sight seeing places within the city.
For the second consecutive year Shishukunj was privileged to host 8 students from the United States under the NSLI – Y ( National Security Language Initiative for Youth ), a programme initiated by the U.S. State Department , in collaboration with AFS, India . The aim of this programme it to encourage the American youth to learn a foreign language and be exposed to a new culture. This programme runs simultaneously in Russia, Turkey, China and India and it was indeed an honour for the school to be part of such a prestigious programme.
The 08 American students were hosted by Shishyans in their homes, thereby giving them a firsthand experience of the Indian way of life. They attended school regularly, where special Hindi classes were arranged for them. Learning Hindi songs, poems and rhymes were a part of their lessons.
During their six week stay in the city, they also visited Mandu and Ujjain, besides visiting the local markets, Rajwada , 56 dukan, sarafa, etc. They also visited the Helen Keller Centre for the blind as part of community service.
The host families went all out to immerse them in the Indian way of life and left no stone unturned to make them feel welcome and at home.
Fatema Rani Presswala was among the 10 students from all over India who was selected by AFS to go to Germany for a two month intercultural programme . She was hosted by a German family and attended a German school.
This two month stay in Germany has been a life changing experience for her. She was able to immerse herself in the German culture and way of living and can hardly wait to host her sibling in her home from July upto September 2015.
This is what she has to say about her experience :
I spent two months in Stuttgart , a big town in Germany. The Education System was unique as the students had to make presentations and explain them . Presentations help them to learn everything without the thick books. Attending German lessons every morning was very interesting. My most memorable moments were celebrating my birthday in a park, the two week bicycle trip to Italy ,sitting around a bonfire and eating different and tasty food . I visited my dream destinations like France , Austria, Switzerland, severall museums , the highest church in Ulm and many lakes.
This exchange made me more expressive and made me confront my challenges. It has also helped me in developing and strengthening relationships with new people . My most thrilling moment was taking a boat alone with my sister in the middle of the sea and then jumping from the boat in the deep sea. A breathtaking,out of the world experience.
My only question : WHY WAS MY TRIP SO SHORT?
To augment the international exposure to the students, the school organized an educational trip to the United States in May / June 2015.
This trip was the first and one of its kind which was enjoyed immensely by the students. To quote the students, ’It was the most amazing trip of my life. Each moment was packed with fun and learning.’
The trip was planned with great care to make it a perfect blend of fun and learning. The tours of the MIT and the Harvard campuses were a real eye opener for the students. Details of each and every building in the campus were given by the volunteers in a very interesting and informative manner. The robotics workshop at MIT and the theatre workshop at Broadway was mind boggling, to say the least.
The sight seeing included New York, Niagra, Boston and Orlando. Visiting Disney and the Island of Adventure was indeed a dream come true for the very enthusiastic and bubbly teenagers.
To complete the learning experience, the students were required to submit articles sharing their experiences during this trip along with relevant photographs. They also wrote slogans describing their trip which made very interesting reading.
After the very successful Class Ecxchange Programme in 2013, the school was delighted to be offered another Class exchange programme by AFS.
The Class exchange programme is a very unique programme offered by AFS to its select partners. Under this programme , a group of 18 – 20 students, accompanied by 02 teachers are invited by a host school. The students and teachers, live, not in hotels or hostels, but in the homes of the students who volunteer to host them. As such, it gives students a close insight into the life and culture of another country. The school conducts special classes for them and the host students leave no stone unturned to make their guests feel at home in a foreign country. Further, the students who host the Indian students, come to India and are hosted by their one time ‘guests’.
A group of 19 students and 02 teachers were hosted by LICEO INTERNAZIONALE PER L’IMPRESA GUIDO CARLI Brescia, Italy. It was a wonderful experience for the students as well as the teachers. Over a period of two weeks, they were able to completely immerse themselves into the Italian culture and way of living. The classes they attended were an eye opener for them as they were exposed to an entirely different way of teaching and learning. The students also learnt to understand and appreciate the differences between people of different cultures and thereby comprehend the fact that the so called differences are all superficial and that we all belong to just one race … HUMANITY.
Shishukunj was privileged to host 7 students from the United States under the NSLI – Y ( National Security Language Initiative for Youth ) , a programme initiated by the U.S. State Department , in collaboration with AFS , India , to encourage its youth to learn a foreign language and be exposed to a new culture. This programme ran simultaneously in Russia, Turkey , China and India and it was indeed an honour for the school to be part of such a prestigious programme.
The 07 American students were hosted by Shishyans in their homes, thereby giving them a firsthand experience of the Indian way of life. They attended school regularly, where special Hindi classes were arranged for them. Learning Hindi songs, poems and rhymes were a part of their lessons.
During their six week stay in the city, they also visited Mandu and Maheshwar , besides visiting the local markets, Rajwada , 56 dukan, sarafa , etc.
They also visited the Helen Keller Centre for the blind as part of community service.
The school is indeed grateful to all the Shishyans and their families who opened their homes and hearts for these young, enthusiastic world citizens.
Six students from our school were selected to go on a 4 week exchange programme to Hungary under the aegis of AFS. It involved a 2 week stay with a Hungarian host family followed by a 2 week tour of the country. The students have returned with wonderful memories and are all set to be international ambassadors!
Akshina Bhargava, student of Class XII A was selected by AFS India for a student exchange programme to Germany. She stayed in Germany with a host family for two months and attended school there, thereby getting a first-hand experience of German culture.
We were happy to host four students from Germany for a period of two months from ie. July – September 2013. These students became a part and parcel of school life and participated in all activities – academic and non-academic.
Ms Phanpaphon Thiema, an AFS exchange student from Thailand spent a full academic session 2012- 13 at Shishukunj. She was hosted by Mrs. Suchitra Dhanani and her family. During her year long stay in Indore, she fully immersed herself in the Indian culture and way of life. She also had the opportunity to visit Delhi, Agra, Jaipur and several other places of tourist interest in India.
Needless to say, she left Indore with wonderful memories which are surely going to last a lifetime.
We miss you , Jijee and look forward to your next visit to Indore
A group of 20 students and 03 teachers came to Indore under the Class exchange programme from Italy in December 2014. They were hosted by Shishyans and attended school during their short but memorable visit to Indore. Every effort was made to show them into the Indian way of life and culture by exposing them to Indian food, way of dressing, family values, etc. They immensely enjoyed the trips to Mandu and Maheshwar and of course Rajwada and Sarafa.
On their way back, they also visited the Taj Mahal, which in their own words,’ is the biggest WOW in the world !’
A group of 18 students and 02 teachers went on a Class exchange programme to Italy in May 2013 under the aegis of AFS. They were hosted by Istituto G. Parini, Lecco.
Under this programme, the students stayed with host families and also attended school. They also visited Milan and Venice along with the many attractions of Lecco itself. The entire trip was a learning experience for all the students , they were exposed to an entirely different culture and way of life . It sure did widen their horizons and laid the seed for making them future international ambassadors.