ARARAT, Stawell and Willaura schools have successfully hosted 34 students from China’s Shanghai Jincai Experimental Junior Middle School.
Ararat 800, Ararat North and St Mary’s primary schools, Stawell 502 and Stawell West primary schools, and Willaura and Pomonal primary schools participated in the second ‘School and Family Life Experience Week’.
Jincai Experimental Junior Middle School, located near the centre of the most populated city in the world, educates 1300 students.
Jincai has formed a strong bond with the Grampians regions schools, sending its students to experience life both on the grounds and in the homes of families who billeted the visitors.
The students, along with six visiting teachers, were welcomed in a gift-giving ceremony at Ararat’s Gum San Chinese Heritage Centre last Monday.
The Australian students were told that giving gifts on a first meeting was an important part of Chinese etiquette.
KOConsulting’s Scarlett McLean held organise the logistical side of the visit.
“Last year they had a group visit as well and in the course of the year we have signed a memorandum of understanding between the school in Shanghai and the schools in Grampians region,” she said.
“They came over to do culture and language exchange.
“I think it was a benefit to students from Shanghai as well as students in our area because it opens their eyes a bit to what people from around the world are like, which can really only be a positive benefit.”
As of this week, the teachers and students had departed for a tour of Australia including a visit to he Sydney Opera House.
“The Chinese teachers also did a day a Phoenix College in Ballarat doing a language program and seeing classes being run and learning about the Australian curriculum,” Ms McLean said.
“The students were at the school from Tuesday to Friday and then on the weekend they loved with their homestay families.”
Ms McLean said the Grampians schools saw the week as a success.