As a member of the Round Square network of schools, Saint Andrew's is proud to maintain several collegial and productive relationships with mission-aligned schools worldwide. One such partner, The Punjab Public School in Nabha, India, recently invited Middle School students to take part in their regional Round Square Conference. The conference focused on addressing the many environmental issues that threaten to blight the beauty and health of our planet.
Students attending the student leadership conference from Saint Andrew's School included Max Pollock ’25, Ethan Brady ’25, Sean Alba ’25, Joe Ged ’26, Maria Salas-Shirley ’26, Alyssa Thomas ’25, and Phoebe Liang ’26. This was each of the student’s first time traveling to the country, and they all felt extremely fortunate to have had the privilege of representing our beloved institution abroad.
Grade 7 student Ethan Brady expresses how lucky he feels for experiencing the unique educational travel opportunity. “India is just nothing like what I am used to,” he said. “After this trip, I feel so grateful for everything in my life including water, a house, Saint Andrew’s School and so many other things,” he added.
As part of this conference journey, SA’s delegates first acclimated to the cultural splendor of India by visiting the Taj Mahal, the Red Fort, and Fatehpur Sikri from where the Mughal Emperor ruled the kingdom for a period of time in the 16th century. Following their short pre-conference tour, the group traveled to the state of Punjab, where they stayed in the PPS dormitories alongside delegates from 20 other Round Square schools in India, UAE, and Oman.
As a consortium, Round Square schools often come together in conference to confront topics such as sustainability and eco-activism, as environmental stewardship is one of the primary pillars of the organization. During this specially themed conference, SA students were the only invited delegates from outside of the immediate area, and they were thankful to have had the opportunity to lend their voices to a discussion about pollution. Indian cities have recently been experiencing air pollution at nearly four times the acceptable levels.
Later in the trip, Scots participated in service at the Bhai Kahan Girls' School for the underprivileged at which time the full company of delegations marched from the PPS Campus to the Bhai Kahan in Nabha with school flags in tow. The march also doubled as a rally for environmental sustainability and green living, as several students carried signs that read “Save the Earth,” “Be the Rain,” and “Tree Power.” Upon reaching the government school, the group divided up into smaller teams to plant trees in the school garden and also paint areas of the physical plant that were in need of restoration. After the students finished their work, they were given time to enter classrooms to interact with many of the local students and to share ideas for a brighter tomorrow.
The conference concluded with a two-day trip to Amritsar, home of the Golden Temple, Wagah Border, and Jallianwalla Bagh. By this point, Scots had grown fully accustomed to the exotic nature of resplendent India, and they collectively willed the thrill of the trip to never cease.
Jason Glick, lead chaperone and Round Square Representative, had this to say about the excursion: "I feel so incredibly privileged to have been a part of something that allowed our golden-hearted and delightful Scots to understand their own culture through the lens of another. Our students represented our school with grace and aplomb, and they made me feel proud to be a Scot every step of the way."
The delightful journey came to a close just prior to the Holiday Break, and students were returned to their families with a tale to tell, experiences guaranteed to have a long-lasting impact, and memories that are sure to last a lifetime.
Please click here for a video retrospective that will help to further elucidate the conference experience.