A group of students and staff from Camborne Science and International Academy enjoyed a trip of a lifetime to South Korea recently.

The group travelled 5,900 miles via Hong Kong to Busan in South Korea for a unique two week adventure with the Korean Science Academy (KSA).

“Our students follow in the footsteps of many others from CSIA who have visited the KSA as part of our long-standing exchange program, partnership and friendship between the two schools,” said James Curnow, leading practitioner in mathematics at CSIA. “The students had a jam-packed itinerary and thoroughly enjoyed a number of new and very valuable experiences, which they’ll remember for a lifetime.”

The first day began getting to grips with Korean culture with presentations on the history and language, participating in traditional ceremonies and sampling the food.

“At first it was quite a culture shock for students but it wasn’t long before everyone fell in love with South Korea,” added Mr Curnow. “We had so many unbelievable experiences.”

The group stayed in the student accommodation, ate three meals a day in the school canteen, attended lectures with experts in science and mathematics, and made the most of the excellent resources and facilities on offer.

“Excursions outside of the school included an incredible visit to the Science Museum, a historical museum showing the tragic past and subsequent transformation of South Korea, a futuristic film museum, a visit to the largest shopping mall in Asia and participation in a traditional tea ceremony,” said Mr Curnow. “Travel around Busan was an experience in itself, bright lights and countless skyscrapers connected by complex road systems made for a backdrop so vastly different to anything in the UK - let alone Cornwall.”

The students also spent a weekend with their KSA buddy and host family, which “enabled them to further develop their cultural understanding and awareness.” The students experienced a high speed train journey from Busan to the hustle and bustle of the capital city - Seoul - which was “a truly life-changing experience.”

Throughout the duration of the trip, the students formed strong friendships with their peers from KSA. “It was great to see our students working and socialising with their Korean buddies,” said Mr Curnow. “From the initial shyness and lack of common interests at the start of the trip, friendships were formed by the end, resulting in hugs, tears and gifts when the time came to leave.”

A number of KSA students will visit CSIA this year through the ongoing exchange program.