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The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

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Home Sweet Home

 

MORGAN THE EXPLORER Morgan visits a Hindu temple in Singapore with her sister Annie. Morgan's family lived there for 5 years. Photo provided by Morgan

After 5 years in Singapore, freshman Morgan returns to Hockaday

With diverse programs such as Swiss Semester, Rocky Mountain Semester and City Term, Hockadaisies are never deprived of opportunities to study abroad.

Just think of the impact of leaving for a semester makes. Now multiply that by 10, and you have freshman Morgan’s experience in a nutshell.

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After a five-year sojourn in Singapore, Morgan and her family returned to the United States this past July. Morgan first left her Dallas home and Hockaday friends in 2006 when her father was transferred for work. From fourth grade until eighth grade, Morgan and her younger sister, sixth grader Annie, attended the Singapore American School.

A true Texan at heart, Morgan praises Singapore’s consistently warm weather right off the bat. She is also quick to mention the “good shopping” and countless “traveling opportunities” that she and her family enjoyed.

“We got to take really cool school trips,” Morgan said. “You got to pick what places you wanted to visit.”

Situated between Malaysia and Indonesia, Singapore provides a plethora of options for such field trips as well as family vacations. Destinations in Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand were especially popular. Morgan recounts one particularly memorable excursion to New Zealand where she and her family rented an RV and explored the beautiful, exotic countryside.

Shopping and traveling aside, moving to the other side of the world is never easy. “The first six months were kind of hard because everything was so different,” Morgan said. The most challenging hurdle she faced was the language barrier.

Chinese is mandatory at the Singapore American School, and though Morgan feels she learned a lot and understands much of the language, she admits that even now, it is still very difficult.

As if Chinese alone didn’t present enough of a challenge, the locals also often spoke in Singlish, a colloquial language which Morgan describes as “a mix of Chinese, Indonesian, Malaysian and English.” But by the end of her time in Singapore, Morgan felt comfortable with both languages.

Back at Hockaday, Morgan chose not to continue Chinese and instead currently studies Spanish. “I felt that it was too hard to learn a language that I didn’t hear at home and would no longer hear on a daily basis,” she explained.

The other significant adjustment was attending classes with boys for the first time. “Going to a co-ed school was a completely new experience,” Morgan says. “There were some things I enjoyed such as getting to see my guy friends on a daily basis…but I prefer an all girls’ school because you don’t have to try and dress nicely, be scared to raise your hand too often or things like that.”

The Morgan family’s sudden return to Texas came as a surprise, but certainly a good one. “We were supposed to move to Switzerland,” Morgan said. “We didn’t find out until July that we were moving back to the States, so it’s kind of been crazy.”

Nonetheless, Morgan couldn’t be happier to rejoin the Hockaday community and reconnect with many of the same friends from her Lower School years. Of course much has changed since then, but her transition back could not have been smoother.

As for her friends still in Singapore, Morgan asserts that while “it was hard to say goodbye,” they have every intention of staying in touch.

“I’m going back to visit over Spring Break,” she said. “And they’re coming here for the summer.”

– Audrey

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