A BALLARAT secondary school is cementing itself as a destination for international students, leading the way in multicultural studies in government schools.
Mount Clear College’s International Program is fast becoming a priority education choice for Chinese and Japanese students looking to gain a qualified education in Australia.
The school’s assisting principal Jenny Bromley said a growing number of international students were choosing to participate in the school’s 20-week intensive English program with many then joining the school’s VCE program.
“Research shows the earlier they come, the faster they get an understanding of how we study in preparation of university,” she said.
She said the program was also benefiting other school students who were exposed to a number of different cultures.
“Schools are expected to internationalise their studies .. the reason why we do it is so that the students have the chance to develop the inter-culture knowledge they need to live in a developing world,” she said.
“If you understand more, you become more tolerant of multiculturalism.”
More than 350 Chinese and 200 Japanese students have arrived at the school since the start of the program in 2010 for the week intensive, with 50 continuing to study their VCE.
As part of the school’s plan to promote the Confucious Classroom as a multicultural community hub, an after-school class for people who want to learn more about the Chinese culture has been introduced.
Confucious Classroom teacher Meng Chen said the program would offer participants – of all ages and backgrounds – a chance to learn Chinese, experience Chinese cooking, Thai Chi and art.
“The aim is to promote Chinese culture right through the community here for years to come,” she said.
She said the hub was also interested in working with local businesses with similar projects that introduce Chinese etiquette to staff members. For more information on any of the classes or programs contact 0435 936 155 or 0401 066 759.
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