Seventeen local primary schools are presently hosting 38 Chinese exchange students and four of their teachers from Suzhou as part of an eight-week cultural immersion program.
Local and international student and teachers—along with 18 BSE Year 7 students who volunteered to help run the activities—gathered in the BSSC Language Centre today.
“Today’s focus is on Chinese, Aboriginal and contemporary Australian culture, with activities, food and games that celebrate these three cultures,” explained Juncai Lin, MC for the day and BSSC’s International Program Coordinator. “We want to strengthen the friendships already begun, share culture and have a lot of fun.”
The students scattered into the classrooms and open spaces within the Language Centre to sing, paint, test their chopstick skills, challenge their ingenuity, push themselves physically, and cook the most delicious dumplings.
Mia from Kangaroo Flat Primary School is hosting Sarah and really enjoying the experience. “I thought Sarah would be shy, but she’s actually not at all. She has very good English and she laughs a lot. It’s been fun.”
Sarah agrees. “Australia is very interesting,” she said, and named the food and our animals as particularly fascinating. “Most people where I’m from live in apartments,” she said. “I like being in a house with a garden. I would like to come to Australia as an International Student when I am older.”
By the end of the day the children had progressed through all the activities and some offered the following comments:
All the activities were good—Jerry.
I enjoyed the Indigenous art—Georgia.
Everything, but I really enjoyed the dumplings—Abi.
Painting the boomerang—Mickey & Andrew.
Probably the 3-legged race—Maggie.
The cooking and boomerang painting were pretty good—Ned.
All up, a lot of laughter and enjoyment packed into one fantastic day.