A unique programme at Camborne Science and International Academy has given two of its sixth form students a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Africa.

Amy Austin and Meghan Lambert-Jewell are both pursuing careers in animal science, and separately travelled to the continent to volunteer.

“The CSIA VI Form Scholarship programme allowed me to take part in this incredible trip,” said Amy. “I spent a remarkable 18 days in South Africa volunteering at African Dawn - a sanctuary for animals - where I got the most amazing work experience.”

Meghan also travelled to South Africa, spending four weeks in a veterinary internship with the Oyster Worldwide organisation. “It was phenomenal," she said. "I worked with people from all over the world who shared my veterinary passion - this was so inspiring. Game drives gave me close encounters with lions, elephants, giraffes and hippos and I was directly involved in general maintenance such as fixing roads, removing invasive species of foreign tree and rock collecting for building. It was all so rewarding.”

In order to qualify for the scholarship, Amy and Meghan had to apply in writing, then give a formal presentation to a panel which included principal at CSIA, Ian Kenworthy, the director of sixth form, John Ross and the head boy and girl.

“We are dedicated to supporting students to become independent and well-rounded individuals,” said Mr Ross, director of key stage five. “Our scholarships are a way of helping our young people to realise their ambitions, support their next steps and provide life experience which is invaluable for personal development.”

Having fought off tough competition and winning the scholarships, both girls then independently organised their trips. “From day one, it was truly life changing," said Amy. "The opportunity to go international for experience has been critical to my future plans, supports my CV, has given me a deep understanding of the practical elements of my university course and confirmed my career aspirations.

“Not only was my trip hugely educational, but I also made time for sightseeing and exploring too. I even bungee jumped off the highest bridge in the world.”

Meghan’s highlights included walking with cheetahs at a rescue centre, cage diving with sharks and working first-hand with a safari vet. “On one very memorable day, we darted three lions and then had to transport them on a stretcher into a trailer to be taken to a different part of the reserve," she said. "It was incredible.”