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A shared experience


 

Being an international student is an opportunity for young people from overseas to truly experience the Australian lifestyle and culture, and a chance for local students to learn as well.

By Dr Mark Merry, principal, Yarra Valley Grammar

Schools throughout Australia conduct International Students’ programs, where students are invited from overseas to complete their secondary education and often university here. Indeed, Yarra Valley Grammar is a proud member of the Melbourne Schools’ Partnership International (MPSI) with The University of Melbourne. However, the international programs may become a lost opportunity for school communities, students and their families if we are not careful. International students ought not be here merely to bolster enrolment numbers or the school’s academic achievement. This should be an opportunity for young people from overseas to truly experience the Australian lifestyle and culture.

At Yarra Valley Grammar, our international students, like their local counterparts, are keen to do well in their studies, but it is the involvement in the broader life of the school that brings the most benefit. Our students enjoy academic pursuits in many different fields such as mathematics, science, Chinese language and humanities as well as the performing and visual arts, sports, social activities and, of course, the friendships made, which is a precious part of school life.

I believe that both our friends from overseas and our local students receive great enjoyment from this shared experience. I find that more and more parents of overseas students seek these wider opportunities for their children, which go with a great education.

What better way to foster international appreciation and understanding than to have young people from our region schooled here and having the opportunities to forge lifelong friendships with their Australian classmates?

See Yarra Valley Grammar’s international video at youtube.com/watch?v=-EISChIywFI

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