Our Kaohsiung Sister School visit Calamvale

In mid-August, the College welcomed 13 students from Kaohsiung Girls Senior High School (KGHS) in Taiwan on their 2018 Study Tour. Calamvale Community College signed a Sister School Agreement in August 2015 – since then, Kaohsiung students have made four trips to the College, and we have made reciprocal journeys twice, with the third planned for 2019. Our respective schools principals have also maintained a positive relationship, with Executive Principal Lisa Starmer visiting Kaohsiung as an invited guest for their senior graduation ceremony in 2017.

This year, the Kaohsiung girls were treated to a back-to-back itinerary full of new experiences and adventures. They participated in an insightful and immersive Indigenous culture excursion to the Ngutuna-Lai Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Studies Centre in Inala. Our Taiwanese guests witnessed boomerang throwing, as well as Indigenous song, dance and storytelling. The also visited Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary to see our native animals up close, followed by a trip to the beach and Mount Tambourine. The girls also arrived just in time for the Ekka – they were very excited to experience such an iconic Queensland event.
There were many on-campus events of mutual benefit to our students. The Kaohsiung girls visited a Year 9 APEX Mandarin class and gave an insightful and interactive presentation about the culture, scenery and food of Taiwan, the Kaohsiung province and its unique delights, and the vibrancy of KGHS.
Cherry, the KGHS Tour captain, expressed her excitement at seeing so many multicultural faces at the College. “We thought that there would be a large White population, but upon reaching, we saw so many more races and nationalities, which was amazing. Many of the [College’s] teachers are from different countries as well.”
She hopes to explore Australia and take advantage of our invaluable resources. “In Taiwan, there aren’t that many books written in English, so I’d like to visit a bookstore here in Brisbane. I would like to visit Australia again as a tourist, and be immersed in the English language.”
The girls said their farewells and departed on Monday. The College hopes to extend its productive relationship with KGHS by working collaboratively through the “Global Collaborative Classrooms” project. In the near future, we hope to hold live-stream music performances, invite submissions to our upcoming online art gallery, and hold English and Chinese language enrichment classes.