Three girls used St John’s School’s international links and left Sidmouth for sunny South Africa on Wednesday.

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The students and sisters Helena and Rosie Varley, 15 and 12, and Flora Willis Fleming, also 12, will be studying in Hout Bay until February.

They are taking advantage of their school’s being part of the International Education Systems, in which fees paid at one institution are valid at all of them.

Students in years 10 and 11 benefit from an education that is recognised across the world, and the curriculum for Helena’s international GCSEs will continue in South Africa.

Flora said she was looking forward to the good weather and getting outside to swim.

“My parents are very supportive and encouraging and glad that I’m embracing this amazing opportunity,” she added.

“I’m looking forward to experiencing another culture and getting away from our winter, but most of all forging links with our sister school in South Africa and making new friends.”

She said that she would also like to visit La Coruna to meet her Spanish friend and has set her sights on Budapest and Florida.

The girls, who are from Sidbury and Newton Poppleford, will make the most of the culture and have signed up for surfing, riding and hiking.

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