By: Cotton Strong ’23
During the last two weeks of September, five Hebron students, accompanied by Mrs. Bonis and Mrs. Gaug, traveled to the United Kingdom to attend the round Square international conference. Round Square is a group of almost two hundred and fifty schools that meet annually to discuss and work for their six “ideals”: internationalism, democracy, environmentalism, adventure, leadership, and service.
The Hebron Academy student delegation participated in a variety of activities throughout the trip. But arguably the most important part of Round Square goes beyond just the designated activities. Besides just working to understand the ideals of the conference, the point of round square is to have students from all over the world meet each other. The Hebron students met many people of many different backgrounds and cultures. First and foremost, there were a lot of British people in the United Kingdom. We quickly learned that they think our accents are as dumb as we think theirs are. The other English speakers like Australians also had things to say about the way we talk. Everyone was surprised that we don’t call McDonald’s “Mackies” or “Mackers” or sunglasses “sunnies”. Non- Native English speakers like students from Peru and South Africa were shocked to learn that most of the American students only spoke one language since they were all at least bilingual. Students from Peru also brought some food to share, including a caramel-milk thing I can’t remember the name of, but it was very good, I promise. At the end of the day, even though Round Square is about learning to work for a better world, the stuff that takes away is the experience of meeting new people from so many unique cultures, and making new friends, even if you might never see them again. In summary, the real international student conference is the friends we made along the way.