ABOUT THE OVERSEAS STUDY PROGRAM


Proposed Dates for travel: September 8 through to September 28 or 29 - subject to confirmation with DEECD


Program target group:
  • Students who would not otherwise have a similar opportunity
  • Those who are most likely to exhibit personal growth as a result of their participation and for who the program will have a long term impact on their life decisions
  • Those who will be outstanding ambassadors for the College, the Gippsland region and for Australia

There are no academic level or prior conduct pre-requisites but there is an expectation that selected students will be fully committed to their class studies related to this program and will be exemplary ambassadors.

Selection of students:

  • Will be based on the three criteria relating to program targets as outlined above
  • Selection will be based on written applications followed by shortlisting and interviews
  • The Interview panel will include a Department representative from Melbourne and a representative from the regional office, as well as two College staff representatives


1. Details of the study tour
· The tour will last 21 days
· We have requested to travel in September – approximate dates are Sept 7/8 through to Sept 28/29. This takes in the last few weeks of Term 3 plus part of the first week of the Term 3 holidays
· Nine days of this time will be spent in Homestay with families form Taizhou Experimental Middle School, a school of 2,300 students. Our students will attend school during this time. Accompanying teachers will also be present at the school and will meet with students at the start of each day, at lunchtime and usually after school
· The remainder of the time will be spent touring as a group with the Itinerary expected to include visits to Xian (Terracotta Warriors), Shanghai and Beijing
· The tour group will be accompanied by Teacher in Charge Sheryl Carnie, one College Principal, two other teaching staff members selected after application, one Educational Support staff member from the College and the International Liaison Officer from LaTrobe City (Jie Liu). Chinese speaking assistants will join us in China.
· All student accommodation, travel, tours, visas and food is provided by the funding from the Department. Students and their families will be responsible for the cost of obtaining passports, any innoculations etc recommended by family doctors, personal luggage and belongings, personal prescription medication (eg asthma) and personal spending money
· Previous trips have recommended a limit of no more than $500 personal spending money per student. The tour group will negotiate an agreed limit, using this as a guideline for the maximum. Spending money will only be required for souvenirs, gifts for family etc.
· The tour party will determine a final protocol for use of mobile phones & for home contact while travelling. Students will probably be encouraged to take their phones and to add a local SIM card, to support student safety, group organisation. However, they will be discouraged from making regular phone contact with home and encouraged to use email instead. This is to encourage students to make the most of the experience of being away from home, and to ensure that the staff who are accompanying the group are fully aware of any issues being experienced by students. Staff will take responsibility for contacting parents if issues do arise.

2. Homestay
· The Taizhou Experimental Middle School will select suitable host families. It is considered to be a great privilege and honour to host students and a great loss of face if the experience does not work out well.
· Chinese families often live in apartments with several generations of their family. Due to the One-child policy, most families have just one child
· Our students will paired up with a Taizhou family following an exchange of information about interests etc. Each student will be the only guest of each selected families – it is difficult for Chinese families to accommodate more than one additional guest
· While with their host families, students will participate in the everyday life of the family and student, in the same way that occurs when our students and families host students from our Japanese sister school, Yae Nishi.

3. Curriculum
· Once selected, students will be placed in an elective subject for the Overseas Study Experience. This elective will run for both Semester 1 and Semester 2.
· Students will have little choice about which of their current elective subjects they will be withdrawn from, as that is determined by timetabling. If there is a clash with English, Maths or Health, students will be re-allocated to another class for these subjects. Students who are withdrawn from an elective they are particularly keen to do, may have a chance to be re-enrolled in that elective as part of their Semester 2 program, or as part of their Year 10 program
· The Overseas Study Experience elective is part of the commitment the College has as part of the program funding. It will be timetabled, assessed and reported on in the same way as other elective subjects
· In this class, students will prepare for their tour experience. This will include preparing passport applications, determining a Code of Conduct for the group and for the tour, budgeting spending money and familiarisation with Chinese culture and etiquette. There will also be an opportunity to learn some commonly used Chinese language phrases. The main requirements of us made by the program funding are:
o Students must complete an extensive enquiry-based learning project examining how youth culture in China is different from our own. Their work must be submitted to the Department as part of the accountability requirements
o Following the tour, students must complete a report on their experiences and this must also be provided to the Department.