For­mer Carnoustie High pupils in dream schol­ar­ship trip

Study: Pair picked for op­por­tu­nity of a life­time in China

The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and The Mearns Edition) - - NEWS - Jake keith

For most young univer­sity fresh­ers, leav­ing the nest for the first time is a daunt­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

But two for­mer Carnoustie High pupils have taken a big­ger leap than most by fly­ing half­way around the world as part of a pres­ti­gious schol­ar­ship pro­gramme.

Alexan­dra Mc­com­bie, 18, and Kevin Shand, 17, who both com­pleted their stud­ies at the school this sum­mer, have spread their wings and jet­ted 5,000 miles to take up the op­por­tu­nity of a life­time in Tian­jin, China.

They are two of only 22 young peo­ple from across Scot­land to be awarded a full schol­ar­ship to study Man­darin at Tian­jin For­eign Stud­ies Univer­sity for the 2017-18 aca­demic ses­sion.

They both stud­ied the lan­guage at the school’s Con­fu­cius Class­room Hub – one of only 34 in Scot­land – and were ac­tive mem­bers of the Man­darin Club.

It’s re­ally un­usual to have two pupils from the same school to be cho­sen for some­thing like this. HEAD TEACHER DON­ALD CUR­RIE

The pair suc­cess­fully in­ter­viewed for the pro­gramme af­ter ini­tially at­tend­ing a 17-day lan­guage im­mer­sion course in Tian­jin last year, or­gan­ised by the univer­sity’s Con­fu­cius In­sti­tute for Scot­land’s Schools (CISS).

Alexan­dra’s fa­ther, Paul Mc­com­bie, said his daugh­ter will rel­ish the op­por­tu­nity af­ter fly­ing to China last week.

He said: “Need­less to say, we’re very proud of Alex and what she’s achieved and is do­ing, and in­deed also of Kevin.

“While we’re ob­vi­ously go­ing to miss her so much, not least be­cause she was a mini-mum to lit­tle sis­ter Madi­son, we’re very grate­ful to the school for help­ing to pro­vide these op­por­tu­ni­ties for our daugh­ter and for the pupils in gen­eral.”

Don­ald Cur­rie, the Carnoustie High head teacher, said the school is “very proud” of the pupils’ achieve­ment.

He said: “They vis­ited the area last sum­mer for three weeks and had a great time, learn­ing a lot.

“They were so en­thused by it in fact that they de­cided to ap­ply for the full year. It’s re­ally un­usual to have two pupils from the same school to be cho­sen for some­thing like this. We’re re­ally happy for them.”

The pair will study lan­guage classes in the morn­ing and “elec­tive” stud­ies each af­ter­noon, en­hanc­ing their ap­pre­ci­a­tion of Chi­nese lan­guage and cul­ture.

jkeith@the­courier.co.uk

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