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Student Exchanges

 

We believe student exchanges are a most beneficial experience for all involved, the students exchanging, the host families and the schools. 

 

Program Objectives

1.     To further International goodwill and understanding by enabling students to study at first hand some of the problems and accomplishments of people in lands other than their own.

2.     To enable students to advance their education by studying for up to 12 months in an environment entirely different from their own, and undertaking study of courses and subjects not normally available to them in secondary schools of their own country.

3.     To broaden their own outlook by learning to live with and meet people of different cultures, and colours from their own, and by having to cope with day to day problems in an environment completely different from the one they have experienced at home.

4.     To act as Ambassadors for their own country and school in their host country, and by imparting as much knowledge as they can of their own country.

What does the student gain?

Experience has shown that apart from the wider benefits from a national viewpoint, the students themselves who are involved in this scheme develop tremendously in personality, confidence and maturity. As well, they have the unforgettable experience of living for some months and attending school in another country, of travelling and seeing new sights, of making new friends, and of having to extend to ‘stand on their own two feet’. It will be for most, the first time that they have experienced a stay of any length away from home without dependence on parents and family.

 

German: three month exchange to Friedrich Woehler Gymnasium

This program has been operating between BHS and her Sister School since 1999. As an international Organisation, BHS is obliged to ensure that there is a balance between the time spent by overseas students here and our students' time overseas.

Generally the exchange is for three months. This can however be shortened, but the time of residence in each country must be the same. Students from Germany come to Australia in early July and leave in late September, while the Australian students leave in mid November of the same year and return at the end of January.

Parents sign a form and agree to the host parents taking responsibility for their child if the child is ill. The host family is responsible for the welfare of the student during their stay and will pay for activities and transport where another family member is involved, however if the student chooses to undertake an activity without them, then he/she is to pay for this.

At FWG and at BHS, every attempt is made to find subjects to suit the interests of students and at times in the past, extra tuition with a private tutor has been offered. Following the partner to all their classes may not be a good option as the language and the academic level of the subjects may well be beyond the student. Far better then that he/she joins other German/English classes and helps out with the classes in middle and junior school.

As no teacher is accompanying the students, families are responsible for making their own travel/insurance arrangements. No student visas are necessary, but travel insurance for the duration is mandatory.

As an ambassador of the School, the student’s behaviour is expected to be exemplary and rules are set down which are signed by the student and parents. The student is in Germany as a language student not as a tourist and is expected to endeavour to improve his/her language skills by talking German at home and engaging other people in conversation when possible.

Three week exchange

This exchange is accompanied by two teachers. The group spends three weeks in Germany/Switzerland and Austria. During those three weeks, students are attending the school as well as travelling around those three countries. Students travel to the Black Forest, Bavaria (Disney Castle), Swiss Alps and many more tourist attractions.

Students also have to use German in everyday situations, eg buying train tickets, asking for directions, ordering meals.

As an ambassador of the School, the student’s behaviour is expected to be exemplary and rules are set down which are signed by the student and parents. The student is in Germany as a language student not as a tourist and is expected to endeavour to improve his/her language skills by talking German at home and engaging other people in conversation when possible.

Japanese Exchange Program

An important part of the School’s Japanese program is its exchange program with our sister school, Meisei High School on the island of Hokkaido.  Every two years, a group of our Year 10 students and teachers travel to visit Meisei for 2 weeks. During that time, the students attend our sister school but also undertake sightseeing to various other parts of Japan, including Tokyo and  Disneyland.  Students are billeted with host families and then act as hosts themselves in the next year, when students from Meisei visit Ballarat in return.  The program is a valuable experience for all involved. As well as developing students’ language skills, it creates deep friendships that continue long after the exchange is over.