2016: Cassie Lundie

On 9th January I left for Scotland where I would stay for the following two weeks as the Sander Scholar. To try and put this experience into one word I would have to describe it as incredible. I arrived at Aberdeen airport late on a Friday night where I was meet by the Head Girl of Robert Gordon’s College, Anna, and her family. They hosted me over the weeks and made me feel completely at home.

I spent my first week in the school of Robert Gordon’s College. Walking into a school of almost 2000 pupils was nerve wracking but the warmth and hospitality that I was met with made me feel instantly included into the school. I spent time in both senior and primary school classes as well as spending half a day in the pre school which was adorable. All of the students and teachers were fascinated about Ōtaki and the culture of New Zealand. In all of the junior classes that I went to I taught them about New Zealand and Ōtaki with the main focus lying on our culture which is what fascinated them most.

Early on the Sunday morning I left for Glasgow with a gap student named Ella, there we spent the rest of the day exploring Glasgow with Jamie and Morna. The following morning we left Glasgow on the Rabbies tour to the Isle of Skye. On this tour we spent the next three days with 7 other people from all around the world traveling to the Isle of Skye and making various stops all over Scotland at some of the most mind blowing and stunning sights and places I have ever seen. We visited places such as Lake Inverness, Glen Shiel and Loch Ness. The tour was so beautiful and the most amazing experience. The following day after the tour we spent the day in Edinburgh which has to be one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever seen with buildings dating back hundreds of years. While Scotland was incredibly beautiful the cold was not, the warmest temperature I experienced was 7 degrees. Once I got back to Aberdeen I spent my last day saying my goodbyes at the school.

It was a once in a lifetime experience and I am so grateful to have been able to do it. I would personally like to thank everyone who enabled my trip to happen and heavily encourage all students to try and go themselves.

Cassie Lundie, Sander Scholar