A new Knox Grammar School program is building boarding house cultural connections and shining a light on rural communities.
Knox Grammar School
At the end of last year, a group of 10 boys from China and Hong Kong, who have now started as international boarders at Knox, visited parts of western NSW as part of a new Knox International Student Rural Immersion Program.
The program was been developed to help build the international boarders' understanding of Australian culture and experience life outside Sydney before they commence life as boarders.
Playing Rugby with the Trangie Magpies, a visit to a drought affected farm near Trangie, learning about indigenous culture and seeing Taronga Western Plains Zoo were among the experiences enjoyed by the students.
“The purpose of the immersion was to build the international boys’ understanding of life in rural NSW ahead of their commencement as boarding students at Knox,” said Knox International Immersion Program Coordinator, Mim Cockrell.
“The program builds their empathy and knowledge, whilst continuing to enhance their English language skills and proficiency,” said Mim.
“The trip was really beneficial to the boys but also to the School. It’s a great way that we can help the boys settle into a new education, boarding experience and a country,” said Head of Boarding, Brian Sullivan.
The students took part in a two-hour workshop alongside the Trangie Magpies learning numerous rugby league and touch football skills.
“My favourite experience was rugby,” said Felix Li from China. “It was my first time experiencing this sport; in China I’ve never seen this sport before. We went onto the rugby field and we learnt the basic skills and rules of rugby… it was really fun.”
“The things I learnt I’ll definitely bring back to the boarding house and back home to share with my friends,” said Tin Long Tai from Hong Kong. “From the trip to Trangie I’ve learnt a lot about the country boys, I’ve learnt different experiences like farming and how they live.”
It is hoped that, once COVID-19 restrictions have eased, the program will be run again for future international boarders at Knox.
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