One trip was life-changing in more ways than one, says the principal guidance teacher at Hermitage Academy.
In 1999 I got involved in an exchange with Jefferson High in Georgia, in the United States. Many people in the area had ancestral links with Scotland, so they got in touch with Argyll and Bute Council and, years later, they are still sending pupils and teachers across each June, while we send people over in October.
On our first trip with one teacher and three pupils each from Hermitage Academy, Lochgilphead High and Campbeltown Grammar we visited Ebeneezer Church in Atlanta, where Martin Luther King, Jr (above) had preached.
We were lucky enough to meet his mother, Alberta, and one of his close associates and asked the latter what he thought King would feel today. He thought he would be disappointed that black people were turning their backs on one another to get ahead, striving for wealth and social status instead.
The exchange was also memorable because I met another teacher who later became my husband Bryson was principal teacher of geography at Lochgilphead at the time.