The St Thomas More College (STMC) International Study Tour Program recently welcomed 15 students from the Wuhu Huicui Middle School in China.
The week-long Study Tour Program is designed to teach both host and visitor students valuable global citizenship lessons in communication, hospitality and cultural engagement – all skills needed for global workplaces of the future.
STMC International Student Co-ordinator, Mrs Helen Robin said the students participated in a variety of ‘team building’ activities including table tennis, basketball, and Pictionary.
Students were matched with home-stay families from the college and experienced daily life as an Australian student.
Chinese student, Kenny reflected on his experience as a student at STMC and said it was one he would never forget.
“The school life here gave me a surprise, we had many different lessons that I have not contacted (sic) such as woodwork, business, film-making and so on,” Kenny said.
“It clearly showed me the student life in Australia and taught me many skills, I really miss the lovely buddies in St Thomas More College and the school.
“All in all, the trip made me a better person.
“I will never forget my experience in STMC.”
Mrs Robin talked about how students develop relationships through the sharing of classroom and playground experiences.
“Having international visitors in the school gives STMC students the opportunity to meet with individuals of their own age and develop authentic relationships with them through sharing classroom and playground experiences,” Mrs Robin said.
“This can allow stereotypes to be broken down and young people from far and wide to understand that the hopes and dreams of each are very similar.
“This visit was particularly heart-warming to see STMC students who may not have the opportunity to shine in traditional areas of school life such as academic or sporting endeavours, step up and receive recognition for their quiet commitment to making the world a better place through their willingness to extend a hand of friendship to these visitors,” Mrs Robin concluded.
STMC Chinese student ambassadors, Anna Zhang and Gavin Li were on hand to translate for the young visitors.
The next STMC International Study Tour is being planned, with students involved in this year’s tour already putting their hand up to be involved again.