“…and from all the lands on Earth we come…”
That line from “We Are One” best describes the cultural diversity that exists within the Bundaberg Region community and has a relevance evident throughout many of our district schools.
Bundaberg State High School recently hosted a morning tea for its cohort of international students – those at the school on exchange programs or who have relocated from other countries.
Principal Karen McCord said the school currently hosted students who are representative of at least 30 different cultures.
“Our region is one of the most culturally diverse in the State and that diversity has found its way into Bundaberg State High School.
School accredited to host international students
“Bundy High is an accredited Education Queensland International school and we are fortunate to have students choose to visit our school to experience an Australian education and our culture.”
Ms McCord said students stay for two weeks on Group Study Tours or for longer experiences that can range from three months to five years – depending on their choice of program.
“We are approved to host a maximum of 20 students at one time, although Study Tours are not included in that number,” said Ms McCord.
“Our International Students' morning tea is a regular event that celebrates our school’s diversity and all that these students contribute to cross-culture learning.”
Dolores Mudiman, the school’s International Student Program and Homestay Coordinator, supports students from application through to arrival and orientation.
Students sponsored through groups like Rotary
“We receive students through a variety of programs including Rotary Youth Exchange and Homestay, where I source families to provide the homestay experience,” said Ms Mudiman.
“In the case of Rotary, the students stay for 12 months and utilise host families sourced by Rotary.
“Having international students here allows the school to promote the Bundaberg Region with students generally experiencing local visitor attractions and many of our key industries.”
Ms McCord said the school has a strong commitment through a “buddy” system to ensure the new international students experience a seamless transition into the student body.
“The long-term study abroad students are paired with a student who acts as a positive ambassador in building peer-to-peer relationships.
“Many of these students are far from home and this system does overcome the, at times, daunting task of making friends and settling into a new school system.
“The buddies work with Dolores in establishing and implementing programs that ensure every student can maximise the benefits and enjoy every aspect of their exchange at Bundaberg State High School.”
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