Inaugural Student Exchange Trip to Shenzhen, China
We have returned from a very successful school Student Exchange Programme between the Hyde School of Nanshan Second Foreign Languages School (Group) (NSFLS) and International School of Western Australia (ISWA), one of the 10 pilot school partnership teams of the International School Connection (ISC).
Upon the invitation of the NSFLS principal Mr. Luo Renzhong, I visited the school with Ian Short, Business Manager, last December with facilitation and support from Sabrina Liu, from Yolo Education. NSFLS and ISWA signed an expression of interest in order to enhance the educational cooperation and exchange, allowing for the educational strengths of both countries and cultivating excellent and talented students. On the basis of equality and mutual benefit, both schools agreed to develop a collaborative international educational exchange program.
We stayed in touch with each other by email, discussing the details of the exchange program. The week from May 26 to June 2, 2018 showcased an exciting educational and cultural exchange program that 16 Years 7-10 ISWA exchange students enjoyed in Shenzhen China.
Mark Xing, the curriculum designer of this program, succeeded in making this inaugural exchange program a significant and impressive one based upon his experience taking students to the schools in the United States and Britain.
NSFLS offered our students the opportunity to attend classes in: English, Mathematics and Physical Education together with their Chinese host student partners. Some traditional Chinese courses were specifically tailored for our students, such as pottery making, paper cutting, Chinese calligraphy and Chinese painting.
ISWA students visited Xuefu Middle School and Xuefu Primary School for a traditional Chinese Cultural Fair and Immersion. Mark organized some field trips to Shenzhen Museum, Tencent, and excursions to Talent Park and East Overseas Chinese Town. ISWA students attended a LEGO presentation given by NSFLS students, and participated in a school basketball game and talent show. ISWA students were billeted to host families. They received the warmest hospitality from the host families and the schools of NSFLS Group.
This one week exchange program facilitated students and staff from both schools to build friendships, have a good knowledge of respective cultures, promote international understanding, strengthen cross-cultural exchanges and expand global perspectives of both teachers and students.
This is the purpose of the School Partnership Program of the ISC, of which ISWA is a member. This program has successfully come to an end, however, it will start a new round of collaboration and exchanges. The students and teachers from both schools will examine the 17 United Nations sustainable development goals and decide on one or two UN Goal areas as well as the ISC Global Learning Center Benchmarks that best describe their selected UN goal(s) for a learning project, culminating with a strategic action plan.
Many people were involved in the success of this programme including Mark Xing, the Principal and staff from NSFLS and associated schools, myself, Ian Short, Craig Skinner, Carolina Bertoncello and Sabrina Liu.
We are looking forward to reciprocating the hospitality our students received in Shenzhen by welcoming the students and staff from the NSFLS school in Shenzhen, China in October, 2018.