Since 1989, Rosebud Secondary College has enjoyed a strong and mutually beneficial sister-school relationship with Gamagori-Higashi Senior High School in Aichi Prefecture, Japan. Students and teachers from Gamagori-Higashi come to Rosebud every year and Rosebud Secondary College offers students and staff the opportunity to go on an 18 day study tour of Japan every second year. During the tour, students homestay with a Japanese family and attend school; and then undertake a 10 day tour around culturally and historically significant sites, including Kyoto, Hiroshima and Tokyo.
While staying in Rosebud, the Gamagori students participate in a variety of activities, such as classes with their host students, cooking and sport lessons as well as Japanese classes. They also participate in excursions to the zoo, horse riding and sometimes make a visit to a primary school. Of course, the College is always looking for families to host these students, which is a wonderful way to learn about Japanese culture while sharing your home and our way of life. The College is very grateful to parents who become involved in this way.
When in Japan, Rosebud students and staff participate in the cultural activities, such as calligraphy, tea ceremony, flower arranging and judo. They also participate in English classes. Teachers and students also make an official visit to the Mayor of Gamagori, and in the past have visited an aged care home to sing.
The sister school relationship between Gamagori-Higashi and Rosebud is an arrangement that is very highly valued. Although our cultures and languages are very different, our two schools work closely together to build common bonds between Australia and Japan. Together our two schools strive to provide high quality education for our students; as importantly, we provide a better understanding and appreciation of our two cultures.
Exchanges like this are extremely beneficial in bringing people from both sides of the world together and do indeed show that people are the same everywhere. Our students always vote unanimously that the week in Gamagori, staying with their Japanese host family and attending school, is by far the best part of their 18 day Japanese experience – they say it’s even better than Disneyland!
Indonesia Study Tour
Following several successful trips to Malaysia, in 2013 the College ran its first study tour to Indonesia in over a decade in 2015. The Indonesian Study Tour went for 12 days, with students being immersed in the language and culture of Java and Bali. Students and teachers stayed together in hotel-style accommodation and participated in a range of language immersion experiences to enhance their spoken Indonesian, particularly in Bandung and Yogyakarta, where English is not widely spoken. Participants in the study tour also gained great insight into Indonesian culture through a range of day trips. These included visits to various places of historical/cultural importance, a visit to a local primary school in Ubud (Bali), a 4WD tour of Java’s Mt Merapi and a visit to the largest Buddhist temple in the southern hemisphere, Borobodur. Study Tours are generally open to students of Indonesian from Years 10 to 12.
The College was successful in gaining funding to establish a sister school partnership in Indonesia in 2015, through the Asia Education Foundation’s BRIDGE Project. The College was thrilled to have the opportunity to further build on its enviable international educational links through this program. Our sister school is SMAN 1 Boyolali in Central Java
In 2016, the College participated in World Challenge, running its fourth expedition into Cambodia and Laos. A World Challenge Expedition is student-led, meaning it’s much more than just a ‘trip overseas’. Students take on responsibilities such as itinerary planning, management of the budget and group leadership, resulting in a journey that is challenging but incredibly rewarding.
The World Challenge expedition is open to students from Years 10 and 11, who must apply and be interviewed for a place on the program. Successful applicants (challengers) then meet with a World Challenge Program Facilitator over a series of in-school meetings, discussing topics from fundraising to expedition kit requirements and destination information. Challengers plan all elements of their expedition depending on the outcomes they, and the College, would like to achieve.
Prior to departure, challengers participate in a two-day training expedition, to learn all the basic skills to keep them fit, healthy and engaged for their overseas experience. These include packing a backpack, cooking on a trangia, setting up camp, safety on treks and personal hygiene. The team also learns about the value of developing-world travel experiences and cultural interactions
On the expedition itself, students get the opportunity to experience life in the developing world by engaging in sustainable community projects, trekking in rural areas and immersing themselves in local culture. On their return to school, students often comment on the life-changing nature of this experience and have a true appreciation for many things they once took for granted.
More information can be found at http://www.worldchallenge.com.au/
Other International Programs
In addition to the Japanese and Indonesian Study Tours and World Challenge, the College runs study tours to China and the USA every other year.
At any one time, the College is home to a number of exchange and international students from many different countries, such as France, Denmark, Thailand and Malaysia. Hosting overseas students who attend the College on short study tours or longer exchanges provides a rewarding experience for both the students and their parents who accept these students into their homes.
The College also supports students who pursue international exchange opportunities offered by a wide range of organisations, such as Rotary, for the many benefits these programs offer.