As culturally diverse community, this is really natural. Our International Student Centre welcomes students from many different parts of the world who choose to make Westbourne their school in Australia. We have been welcoming international students to Westbourne for nearly thirty years.
Students have opportunities to safely explore and experience global opportunities though formal curricular and co-curricular programs. These flow on from our language and Performing Arts programs as well as community and service throughout the school. Our long association with and support for Kampuchea House in Cambodia has given the most profound in-country experience of service to others and ethical connection for so many of our students.
In order to equip international students with the language skills required in their new learning environment, we offer the Secondary Preparation Program (Intensive English) in the School’s International Centre. This Program is taught in small classes to enable strong support from teachers. Not only does the Program offer an intensive English language course, it also provides an essential orientation period, allowing students to become familiar with the School’s layout and procedures. Students in the Secondary Preparation Program are full members of the School community.
They live in a Westbourne homestay, wear the Westbourne uniform and are in the care of experienced Westbourne Grammar School staff. This enables them to become settled and comfortable at Westbourne before starting their mainstream classes. While still undertaking the Secondary Preparation Program, students attend selected mainstream classes such as Mathematics, Sport, Business Studies and Science. The students will enter mainstream classes once their English skills are at the required level.
There is nothing like immersing yourself in the language you are studying by actually being in Germany or Japan, Language students have the opportunity to undertake exchanges with our sister schools in Germany or Japan each year, with reciprocal visits from our sister schools to us. Studying another language and becoming proficient in it is one of the most highly regarded skills for future employability globally which places Westbourne students well for their futures.
In addition to language exchanges, we also offer a biennial Music Tour of Europe. Students who are involved in our extensive music program have the opportunity to travel to Austria, Germany and France and perform a rehearsed concert repertoire in some of the most beautiful venues in the world.
For the sporting enthusiasts there is also a biennial ski trip which usually travels to our close pacific neighbour – New Zealand.
Our Cambodia Challenge operates across nine days each year. The trip starts with visits to Kampuchea House, of which Westbourne is the number one supporter. Just one moment with any of the young children is enough for our students to realise the enormity of the difference our community is making in the lives of these children. The Challenge also includes a rural bicycle ride, an evening at the circus, temple visits, a ride on the Great Lake Tonle Sap and visits to the Night Market.
A memorable feature of the Challenge is working with another organisation, HUSK to build a house in a local village. The initiative, collaboration, cooperation, drive and determination our students experience is remarkable.