Experiencing life in school in another country is an important part of the exchange. When our Rungwe friends visit we spend several days in a number of our local secondary schools and also visit several primary schools. They attend classes and get first-hand experience of how teaching is delivered and get to meet and sit alongside Cumbrian students. Of particular interest is the way practical science is taught: in Tanzania there is a lot of enthusiasm to study science subjects but very limited laboratory facilities and associated equipment. Students also take part in cultural exchange activities which include music, dance and question and answer sessions.
The visits to primary schools are always well received and for many Cumbrian children it is often there first direct experience with people from a very different background and in particular a taste of African culture. Within a few hours of meeting they can be enthusiastically taking part in traditional Tanzanan Dances. Many of the older students who later join the Link and travel out to Rungwe recall an encounter in Primary school as giving them their first inspiration to become involved.
When we visit Rungwe we spend about half our time in local schools. This includes experiencing a few days shadowing a Tanzanian student, sitting in on classes and having a school dinner of beans and ugali. Our students also prepare their own lessons on subjects such as British Culture, Science and PE which they deliver in groups. And of course there is more Music and Dance.