Three years ago, a team of leaders and teachers at Henley reviewed our International Student programs: after long and honest research, conversation and discussion with IES in State Office we made a commitment to invest in Team International.
Why? There were three main reasons.
What was/is the investment?
Some of the new programs in the last 18 months have been life changing for our students and staff. Six students accepted an invitation to visit their buddies in Cambodia. Four students accepted an invitation to a youth leadership summit in Japan. Students will have the opportunity to visit Kofu and China this year as well as participate in the world challenge program. Staff have travelled/will travel to Thailand, New Caledonia, India, Japan, China, and South Korea. We are hosting Study Tours from Thailand, South Korea, Indonesia, New Caledonia, Cambodia, Japan, with ongoing conversations about visits from Brazil, Malaysia, Vietnam, Germany, Sweden and China.
Already we are seeing our student leadership skills, their independence and resilience and communication and problem solving skills grow. They continue to use their ICT skills to maintain communication with their buddies. Parent feedback has been most encouraging and enthusiastic. While we continue to need more and more homestays, those who are part of our program are equally committed and enthusiastic. Jason Forrest, one of our leaders, is on a teacher exchange in Japan in 2014. Other staff are now considering similar cultural exchanges as a professional development opportunity. Our overseas partners are very keen for our staff to teach and support their staff in their English programs.
Members of Team International are excited, challenged, rewarded, by the growth in our students but also the maturity our students have shown as ambassadors for our school and our education system when travelling overseas. We now hope to develop further our student leadership program to ensure these travellers and buddies continue to grow and be challenged as well as become strong role models for their peers as well as outstanding guides to visitors and homestays.