Learn all you can from the Caribbean people.

Welcome to Richmond Vale Academy.

I'm a past student who live in St Vincent for 9 months in 2012-2013. RVA is a unique experience that brings people from all over the world closer together. Before I came to the school, I never considered myself "outdoorsy". I didn't really like being outside, to be honest. I'm from a family and community that spent most of our time indoors except for dinner parties in the summer.

When I got to SVG I was able to fall in love with nature. Not just the grass and see, but the smelly pigs and horses and insects (not the sandflies!). They all became a part of my experience. As for SVG, I loved living on the island. Learn all you can from the Caribbean people. Learn to drum, drink sorrel juice during the holidays, listen to Selly's folk tales, dance with them in the street, plant with them in their gardens, and eat whenever they share with you. St Vincent is a gem of an island, mostly because of the incredibly hospitable people who live there. Get to know them.

As for your teammates, be kind to them. The RVA community allows for a strangely strong bond to form between you and your teammates from all over the world. Participate in all of the activities and parties thrown at RVA. In my 9 months there, we had many relationships begin that are still going on and some have even led to marriages. That's pretty magical. But even if you don't find your life mate, you'll find a best friend. I met my best friend in the whole world, Carina, at this school.

We still call each other multiple times a week even though we live far apart. The best part about your new team is that you get to create it's future. It's brand new. Make sure you are starting it off with a bang. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Empower the communities around you. Immerse yourself in the island. Watch all of the sunsets (and sunrises). And most importantly, love each other.

Have a great 1-6 months there!

Erica from America

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