Kinross Wolaroi School has a successful International Exchange Program which provides students with the opportunity to visit numerous schools around the globe.
In 2019, staff were inundated with applications as fifty students applied to take part in the School's expanded International Exchange program. Of these students, 22 were selected to travel to nine schools in six different countries.
The program is designed to broaden the horizons of our students and educate them to become global citizens. This program allows students to develop personally, as they become more resilient and independent whilst maturing throughout the experience.
In 2019, Kinross Wolaroi School held International Exchange Programs with schools in New Zealand, Japan, South Africa, India, Scotland and France.
Last year two Kinross Wolaroi boys went on exchange to The Doon School in India. At the start of their exchange in Term 3 they commenced their time away with a trek in the Himalayas. These students were fascinated with the cultural immersion that they undertook and they loved their educational experience in one of India’s finest schools.
Two students also visited Tosajuku High School in Kochi, Japan. Lily Wilson and Zac Lewis said that their experience was so positive that there were even a few tears when they left. Tosajuku High provided great feedback about our students and they mentioned that they would be honoured to welcome more of our students to their school in the future. At the completion of the exchange, the Japanese host families all took time off work to farewell Lily and Zac at the airport!
Lily said that she felt completely immersed in the culture. “There were many cultural differences that took a bit of getting used to,” says Lily. “At school and home we would take off our shoes and even wore ‘inside sneakers’ in the school gym. School days went until five o’clock some days, and we had a half-day of classes on Saturday! There were lots of rules around everyday life that were very new to us.”
In Term 4, two boys and two girls travelled to South Africa to spend time at Michaelhouse Boys' School and Saint Anne’s Diocesan College. This was another successful new exchange relationship. These students saw black tip oceanic sharks up close, experienced lions, elephants and rhinos on safari in the Nambiti Game Reserve and enjoyed the Drakensberg Boys’ Choir.
Similar reports came from the south of France. From Nimes, Darcy Shaw said he had an impressive introduction to French life. “The first weekend we went to the beach and watched cattle drafting with Catie (Crisp) and her family along the shorelines. We saw more horses in one spot than anywhere in the world and enjoyed a lovely homemade lunch afterwards,” said Darcy. Catie Crisp who was on exchange at the same school said she was similarly blown away by the experience even though it took some time to settle in.
Also in France, Emily L’Estrange reported that it’s the unknowns that were the best part of her exchange. “You are quite literally flying into the unknown and that is both exhilarating and terrifying and a feeling I have come to love. My family exceeded any expectations I had, they are kind, funny, understanding and one hundred percent supportive of me blundering through a new language. There is nothing quite like ordering storm clouds instead of nuggets and fries on the first day in the canteen lunch line,” said Emily.
In other International Exchanges, students came and went to Strathallan School in Scotland, Saint Dominique and Ecole d’Alzon in France and Timaru Boys High School and Christchurch Girls School in New Zealand.
As this program continues to grow, an increasing number of students are interested in the opportunities that an exchange can offer. Students that are entering Year 10 are encouraged to apply and as part of the process, they undergo a selection process. As part of this selection process there are a number of points of consideration including a student’s age and maturity, academic performance, contribution to school programs and so on.
"It's a once in a lifetime opportunity to not only visit another country as a tourist but to live like a local. The best part was that I learnt to be independent and developed problem solving skills, said Adelaide Gavin of her French exchange.
The COVID-19 Health Pandemic has caused the cancellation of the Exchange Program in 2020 and the ongoing restrictions will place limits on what is possible in 2021. However, this is a fantastic experience for our students and the program will continue to evolve in the years to come.
If you are interested in learning more about our School, please contact our Admissions Team by phone on 02 6392 0303, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org