Last week our students hosted a visit by Japanese students form Oita High School in Tokushin. 15 Japanese visiting students were billeted amongst Gymea families and enjoyed the experience of life as a young person in the Sutherland shire attending our school. The visit is referred to as a short term study tour and provides the visitors with the opportunity to experience high school life in Australia, the lessons, the activities and taste of Australian culture. These short term study tours provide a great cultural experience for our kids while reinforcing their pride in their country and their school. They enthusiastically escorted the visiting students around on the weekend and after school and participated in the range of cultural experiences offered throughout the week in addition to the formal learning activities. It is exciting to see our kids engage so happily with our visitors and feel proud about showing off their school.
We thank our host families for helping out with billeting the welcoming activities they offered the Japanese students. It does take some work to organise but the cultural experience, the friendships formed evident by the tears of goodbye at the bus reinforces just how worthwhile our international programs are.