As an independent school focused on developing students who are globally-minded, Trinity Lutheran College is committed to establishing and maintaining strong and collaborative
international educational partnerships which offer students international exchange programs designed to provide quality language,
cultural and immersion experiences in various countries. These programs are designed to increase cultural understanding, language
skills, personal development and exposure to another country's
schooling system. 2017 saw Emma, Uno and Jonathon traveling to Japan (Emma) and Germany (Uno and Jonathon), embarking on the adventure of a lifetime! Uno and Jonathon will return to Australia at the end of Term 4.
The Opportunity and Experience of a Lifetime! (Emma)
At the start of Term 2, I travelled to Japan on school exchange to Reitaku High School; they were 10 of the most challenging, exciting and fun filled weeks of my life. I experienced the life of a Japanese student, living in the dormitory and joining in everyday school life. Weekends were spent sightseeing Japan; a highlight for me
The dormitory was the most challenging aspect of my trip. The most formal type of Japanese is spoken and I barely understood a word. Everyone was incredibly welcoming though, and it didn't take me long to learn the basics as I was hearing it all the time. The most different and sometimes challenging parts for me were: communal showers, sleeping on futons, night meetings sitting in traditional Japanese style, having ‘senpais’, cleaning every day, twice a day and the compulsory, ‘device free’ study time every night from 7:30pm to 9:45pm. Overall though, the dorm was such a unique experience and one that I am incredibly grateful for.
At school, I joined the calligraphy class which I found fun but also a lot harder than it looks! I also joined the English immersion class. This was probably my favourite class. I got on well with the students as there was a bit less of a language barrier and I also got to get involved with their class activities. I went to a place called Kamakura on an excursion with this class. While we were there, we went to the Daibutsu which is the big buddha and many other places around the area for sightseeing and shopping.
On the weekends and when I home stayed, I would always go out and see the local areas. Everyone was so friendly and eager to take me out and show me around. Some of my favourite places were: Kashiwa, Akasusa, Skytree, Harajuku, the Cat Café, Shibuya, the Imperial Palace, Disneyland and DisneySea. While I was out I tried so many new foods; some of them were a bit strange but most of them tasted really delicious! I recommend trying everything whether it be food or experiential! I really enjoyed sightseeing and exploring Japan and it will always be a wonderful memory.
On my last day prior to joining the other Trinity students on the Japan tour, I joined in the annual sports festival. It was so much fun; there were events such as tug of war and some other Japanese games that I was included in. I also participated in a relay with my class as well as many other activities throughout the day.
My exchange was such an amazing experience and one I will remember forever! I made so many friends that I still maintain contact with, I experienced life in Japan, saw loads of wonderful things, tried heaps of weird and wonderful foods and really improved my confidence in speaking another language. I am so grateful for the opportunity and would recommend it to anyone who is considering it in the future!
Germany Reflections (Uno)
Jonathan and I were privileged to be selected as the first ambassadors for Trinity’s Year 10 exchange program to Germany, where we immersed ourselves in German culture and school life for the whole of Term 4 2017, at our sister school Gymnasium Süderelbe, Hamburg.
I was quite nervous for my first day of school, speaking not a single word of German and entering Grade 11 without Jonathan there to help me. Fortunately, all the students were very accommodating and spoke outstanding English. The most distinctive difference I found in comparison to life at Trinity was the freedom afforded to the German students, and student life in general. Most especially that students are allowed to wear free dress, and the school hours are considerably varied (and shorter!) than ours.
Outside of school, I loved experiencing Hamburg life - admiring the historic architecture juxtaposited with modernised buildings. As a classical musician, I thoroughly enjoyed visiting the Komponisten Quartier, which enriched both my cultural and musical knowledge.
This exchange program has made me appreciate multiculturalism and made me more aware of international issues, along with a broader cultural capital. It has made me more confident in confronting challenges outside a familiar support network and given me the opportunity to step outside my comfort zone and grow in independence and maturity.
I thank Mrs. Day for her remarkable organisation and support to make this all possible.
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