For the past 5 days we have been privileged to host students from Guiyang Jiaxiu Primary School in Guizhou Province, China.
Our International visitors ranged in age from 9 - 11 years and were paired with buddies from Years 4, 5 and 6.
Although the language barrier was difficult at first, our Livingstone students and teachers and International visitors worked together to communicate using a variety of means. By the end of the 5 days not only was our visitor's English improving, but our students had gained valuable skills in communicating slowly and carefully, caring for their buddies and making sure they could understand, and being patient and persistent when having to re-explain things.
The farewell party this morning was a celebration of Chinese culture as our guests performed song and dance in traditional Chinese costumes.
Our visitors have left knowing that for 5 days they were part of the Livingstone community, and our students should be commended on their conduct and care for their International friends.
We are so proud of how our students and staff embraced our International visitors last term. Not only does the International program give us an opportunity to engage with students from other cultures, it also brings the mission field to us as we demonstrate Jesus' love to students who may never have experienced Christianity before.
In total, over 29 school days we welcomed 14 International groups, consisting of 341 International student visitors, hosted by 292 Livingstone student buddies!
Check out our video on our Facebook page.
Our homestay families also enjoyed the experience. Here are just a few comments:
"They were a pleasure to have. Very kind and funny. We missed them when they went. We have had homestay students before, however even though there English was very little. They were excellent. We didn't even need a google translate! Our kids clicked with them from the start and I always think that's good.
I would recommended anyone giving this a go as it is a wonderful experience for both parties. Even though our kids learn Chinese, they learnt a lot in Japanese." - Michelle
Over 5 days we were privileged to host students from Tsu City in Japan. Students came as part of a city-wide initiative, and represented 5 schools in the City. In addition to joining us during the day at school, students enjoyed Livingstone hospitality as they were based with homestay families from the College.
In their short time with us, Tsu City students attended class with their buddies, led cultural activities with primary students, and participated in elective subjects such as Agricultural Science, Drama, Home Economics, Music, Art and Media Studies.
These students travelled to Australia with only a Tour Guide, and we were challenged by their maturity and their knowledge of the world and different cultures. We wish them all the best as they travel home and return to their own schools next week.
The card below sums up the relationships that are formed between our students and their International buddies.
Last Friday we were blessed by a brief visit from five students from Senshu, Japan. Even though they were only with us for half a day, their cheerful natures and excitement to get involved with class activities endeared our visitors to our community.
Students spent a session in Art with Mr Nucifora, and crafted a stunning skateboard deck, decorated with images from Japan.
We look forward to welcoming them back to our College next year.
For the past 2 days Year 7 students have hosted 40 boys from Johoku High School in Japan. The boys were integrated across 5 classes and attended lessons with our students for an authentic Australian school experience.
A highlight of this visit was our farewell party. 110 Livingstone students packed the MPC as our visitors gave interactive demonstrations in origami, paper aeroplane making, calligraphy, name translation and playing traditional Japanese games. Our afternoon culminated with an afternoon tea of Australian food – provided by our Year 7s – as they farewelled their new friends.
Our students learned a great deal about Japan and their visitors. Perhaps what surprised our students the most was that our visitors come from a school of 2000 students – all boys – and that there is only 1 female teacher! They were also interested to learn about the physical nature of the school, where most buildings are multi-story – some 5 stories high!
This visit was another outstanding example of friendship and intercultural understanding by our Year 7s. We are very proud of our Livingstone students.
Students across Secondary farewelled Japanese students from Ohori High School in Fukuoka this week. 27 students, integrated across Years 8 – 11 shared life at Livingstone as they sought to improve their conversational English and understanding of Australian culture.
Each morning Ohori students attended specialised English tuition, meeting their buddies at morning tea to spend the remainder of the day with them.
Students were challenged in Year 11 English by William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew and able to contribute in Year 9 History classes as they studied Shogunate Japan.
These students were incredibly friendly and popular, and have no doubt made friendships that will transcend the distance between our countries.
What a tremendous privilege it has been to host visitors from one of the top schools in China, Beijing #4, over the past two weeks. Ten students travelled to Australia as part of what affectionately become known as ‘Zoe’s group’ – a tour group facilitated by Zoe, one of the teachers from Beijing #4, who is known to Dr. Laraghy.
Students attended class with their buddies, in addition to visiting Chinese classes, attending Chinese club and providing cultural activities for students in Years 3 – 6.
A highlight for 15 of our students was the Chinese immersion camp, held overnight on 4-5th August with teachers and students from Beijing #4. On this camp, Livingstone students had to rely on their Chinese language ability and build a deeper understanding of our Chinese neighbours. The camp created a safe Third Space environment which helped forge intercultural understanding.
A famous Chinese proverb states, “the journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step”. The two weeks spent with Zoe’s students was a wonderful start in beginning the journey between our students and their Chinese neighbours.
Over the past four days we have been thrilled to host students from four Japanese schools: Luoxing, Seiryo, Meito and Koban. Although their visits with us were brief, our students were welcoming and our visitors experiences true Livingstone hospitality. In return, we learned many things, including how to write some Japanese words in calligraphy, how to make basic origami animals and how to say common Japanese words and phrases.
Check out the galleries below for some of the highlights of each school:
Over the past week our Year 7s have done an amazing job of hosting buddies from Zenith-By in China. Chinese students were integrated one-on-one for 5 school days and experienced core and elective lessons with their buddies, in addition to specialist English lessons with their tutors.
A highlight for both Livingstone and Zenith-By students was Thursday afternoon sport, where cultural boundaries gave way to friendly competition.
One of our visiting students was so impressed with Livingstone he asked his parents if they would move to Australia so he could attend school here next year! Well done Year 7!
The Japanese proverb above sums up our experience of the past 7 days perfectly. During this time, our Year 10s have been both privileged and blessed to get to know 37 peers from Koriyama High School in Fukushima, Japan.
From studying dystopian fiction in English, to feeding the sheep in Agriculture, our visitors experienced Year 10 in a way they never had before. In addition to attending school, they also enjoyed day trips to Surfers Paradise and some of our theme parks, and activities with their host families at night and on the weekend.
Our students also enjoyed many new experiences, and came away with a new appreciation for Japanese people, culture and history. Particularly touching was the recount of the Fukushima nuclear disaster of March 2011, which impacted many of our visitors and their families - something our students have no real comprehension of. Despite our lack of experience with disaster on that scale, it was touching to see our students listen, empathise and support their friends, and do their utmost to ensure their visit to Australia was a memorable one.
Our visitors began their journey home this morning. And while Japan may be half a world away, the friendships these young people have made over the past week and a half will ensure the distance is only as far as a text, email or snapchat.