International Online Exchange
26 Oct 2020
In August of this year students from Hashimoto High School were due to visit the Gold Coast for a study experience. Like so many planned activities of 2020, this one also had to be changed. When it became clear that our international borders would remain closed for the foreseeable future we set out to find a solution.
The Study Gold Coast Online International Exchange Program was devised with our study travel partners Tyler International to allow students from schools across the globe to engage together through a set of curated activities – all conducted virtually. The program touches on the Gold Coast student experience on a number of different levels: academically, socially and domestically, while also being able to sample local sport and culture. This concept contributes to a holistic view of what it’s like to be a student on the Gold Coast.
Kanagawa Prefecture is a sister city of the Gold Coast and over the past few years that relationship has strengthened through a number of trade missions, so Hashimoto High School was a good fit for the launch of this initiative. On Wednesday October 14, students from Trinity Lutheran College at Ashmore on the Gold Coast met their Hashimoto High School counterparts for the first time, beginning a virtual relationship that will build over the months ahead.
As the program rolls out the Japanese students will participate in virtual visits to Evandale Parklands, HOTA, the Gold Coast Student Hub and the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, while also having the opportunity to meet a homestay family. During each of these sessions the students will be able to ask any questions they want about living and studying on the Gold Coast. As the program unfolds the host students from Trinity Lutheran College will be present throughout, facilitating deeper cultural understandings between the students from both countries.
While Study Gold Coast already has other international schools keen to participate in the Online International Exchange Program, the very nature of this initiative and its level of success could potentially see it utilised through other trade networks outside of education right across the world.