For majority of the students, it was their first time they had ever set foot on the island.
The group of 43 travelled over on five flights and arrived back to Rarotonga on Monday this week.
School principal Michelle Irving said the children left with lots of hugs and good wishes from families who came to see them off at Rarotonga International Airport.
“Our school ambassadors were the first of the students to depart Rarotonga and left with teacher Saireni Poila and her husband who have family connections in Mangaia.”
Irving said Saireni had helped the students to prepare for a cultural performance at the Mangaia markets.
Tina Mitchell from Apii Te Uki Ou said every two years the school organises a trip for Year 7 and 8 students.
“The last three trips have been to Mauke and Atiu and this year the students were hosted by CIIC Ekalesia,” she said.
Mitchell said the trip enabled the youngsters to experience life in the outer islands.
“The trip provided meaningful and purposeful learning. The students learned the history of Mangaia and the amazing language and culture.”
The visit also allowed the pupils to meet children from another part of the Cook Islands, make new friends and learn about the island of Mangaia and its environment.
“It was really a once in a lifetime experience for everyone on the trip and we hope that these experiences and memories will be treasured.”
The parents and teachers of the year 7 and 8 students ran a “rent a plate” fundraiser three times a week to raise money for the trip.
“We were humbled and very honoured to be hosted by our sister island Mangaia and we are very thankful for the wonderful support from all the parents, teachers and our school community,” Mitchell said.
Teacher Mark Harris posted regular updates on the school’s Facebook page during the trip to Mangaia.
“The genuine nature of Mangaia’s people and the warmth of hospitality they have shown, is like nothing I have ever experienced before,” he wrote.
The students enjoyed the cultural experience, and spent their last day on Sunday resting before flying back to Rarotonga the following day.