IGS is celebrating a fantastic month of cultural exchange! We are fortunate to have hosted international exchange students from Germany, Spain, Japan, Italy, and France. Their vibrant presence has filled our school with joy, curiosity and excitement. Through attending classes and exploring Sydney together, they have forged strong bonds of friendship among themselves and with IGS students. This enriching experience has allowed the exchange students to embrace Australia’s rich diversity, while they have generously shared their own languages and cultures with our school community.
A warm Sydney welcome
Our exchange students received a warm IGS PTF welcome, joining their host families on a dazzling harbour cruise. Sunlit skies and warm weather guaranteed breathtaking views of the iconic Harbour Bridge and Opera House. What a fantastic start to their journey!
Unleashing the comedy muse
Is speaking a second language difficult? Well, try being funny in one!
The students had the fantastic opportunity to participate in an improv workshop, led by IGS Alum Lukian Adams. They began with simple warm-up exercises to familiarise themselves with the theatrical style before delving into more complex games. As the session progressed, they amazed everyone by creating full three-minute scenes on the spot, eliciting lots of laughter from their peers in the audience.
Learning about Aboriginal culture through basket making
During a weaving workshop, Wiradjuri Artist Bianca Caldwell guided our guests in learning about Aboriginal culture. The students picked their colours and formed a circle around Bianca. As they weaved, she shared insightful stories about the history of Australia’s First Nations peoples. It was a meaningful and educational experience for all.
Sharing culture and language with Early Learners
In addition, our exchange students had the chance to visit our Early Learning Centre, creating a wonderful opportunity for our young learners to connect with the languages they are studying. During Language Group Time and lunch, the children interacted with the exchange students, engaging in play and conversation to exchange meaning. The students proved to be fantastic conversation partners, setting an example with culturally appropriate language.
Early Learning Educator (French) Valerie Boisseau shared, “The children had a delightful experience with the French students, and the feeling was mutual. The exchange was dynamic, and our Early Learners enthusiastically asked plenty of questions.”
“The high school exchange students shared things about themselves and, to conclude the class, French student Iris played the clarinet for us as we sang Frère Jacques together. All the students were lovely and engaged with the children while having lunch.”
Investigating Australian universities
The exchange group enjoyed a guided tour of Sydney University and UTS, expertly guided by Director of Advancement Paul Galea. This excursion allowed the exchange students to explore Australian universities and gain insights into university life, should they consider returning for further studies. After the tours, the group shared a lunch together at Paddy’s Market.
The month-long cultural exchange at IGS has been a resounding success. As we bid farewell to our newfound friends, we carry with us cherished memories of a remarkable journey of growth, connection, and celebration of language.
We look forward to our own students embarking on exchange later this year.