The VPA China Student Exchange Program offers Grade 5 and 6 students the experience of a lifetime! Students and teachers get to know China’s remarkable education system and the fascinating culture of the world’s most populous country.
During the 14-day exchange program, students attend Jinling Primary School in Nanjing, participate in classroom and cultural activities, whilst also visiting amazing sight-seeing locations in Shanghai.
Our 6th annual China Student Exchange Program took place between the 17–31 October, 2019. The China Student Exchange is a joint initiative between the VPA and Nanjing's Jinling Primary School, with support provided by the Internationalisation Unit, Department of Education and Training. This year 47 students and 9 accompanying principals and teachers from six primary schools attended. These schools included Doncaster Primary School, Essendon North Primary School, Whitehorse Primary School, Glendal Primary School, Grahamvale Primary School and Alamanda College.
The experience allows our principals, teachers, and students to deepen their understanding of Asian culture and languages, as well as forge strong partnerships with our international neighbours so that together we can share best practice for learning, teaching and school leadership.
The program started in Shanghai, where the school groups experienced the many wonderful sights and sounds of the city while learning about Chinese culture, food, and language during a three-day experience. Learning experiences included: visiting a local district market to select produce to be used by a local family who prepared a meal for us in their home; participating in a tea making ceremony; visiting the Yu Yuan Garden Markets; exploring Nanjing Road and observing the night lights on the Bund; visiting the Shanghai Wild Animal Park, where the group saw pandas; watching incredible acrobatics at the ERA Chinese Acrobatic Show; and viewing Shanghai city from the second highest building in the world – Shanghai Tower.
The program then moved to Nanjing for the next 10 days where participants stayed at Jinling Primary School. During this time at the school the students engaged in a wide variety of activities including Pinyin, calligraphy, science, maths, oral Chinese, paper cutting, mask making, art, poetry, and Chinese Cultural classes. They also learned to play the ocarina, which they performed at the closing ceremony. The students also visited classrooms where they presented information about their own lives and Australia with the Chinese students.
Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and we look forward to recommencing the program next year.