STAWELL - Stawell Secondary College Council has unanimously endorsed the continuation of its International Student Program.
School Council has also developed plans to strengthen support for the staff and students involved in the program and to expand relationships with sister schools in China.
Principal Peter Hilbig said currently, the school has eight international students, with another to start next term and two more enrolled for next year.
Mr Hilbig said the School Council is confident of the advantages to all students and the benefits to the community.
“Cultural understanding and language development are recognised as vital in an era of globalisation, especially between Australia and the rest of Asia,” Mr Hilbig said.
“The International Student program complements the teaching of Chinese at the school, with Australian students able to practise conversation with Chinese speakers.
The links established with sister schools have enabled students and teachers to visit China and the school has gained input from teachers, students, principals and parents visiting Stawell and working or studying at the college.
“Chinese teachers visiting Stawell have also been supportive of our students learning Chinese.”
Mr Hilbig said during the spring school holidays, three students from Stawell Secondary College would be travelling to China with a delegation from Victorian schools, to continue learning Chinese and building cultural understanding.
“The International Student Program and the study of Mandarin works in parallel with the teaching of German and the long standing promotion of student exchange opportunities with schools in Germany,” Mr Hilbig said.
“Council’s commitment to continuing the International Student Program will create opportunities for local families to host visiting students.”
Mr Hilbig said the college has an immediate need for homestay for one student and would be progressively seeking others for next year.
Families are reimbursed for the cost of board and enjoy sharing their homes with students who bring personal and cultural diversity into the household.
Families and individuals who may be interested in hosting an international student are invited to contact the school for more information.
Mr Hilbig said he welcomed council’s decision to maintain and strengthen the international program.
“There is no doubt that the students of today will be world citizens of the future, so every opportunity to share internationally and think globally should be promoted,” Mr Hilbig said.
“We look forward to community support to ensure we can provide hospitality to international students enrolling at the school.”
If there is any family in the community giving thought to hosting a homestay student, they should contact the school.