HomeNewsBroadening our Horizons – A Chat with Australian Guests

Broadening our Horizons – A Chat with Australian Guests

The 3rd of May was a different kind of English class for 5M as they had the chance to meet three visiting guests from Australia, Helene Hiotis, Principal Bentleigh Secondary College; Tracey Bastin, Assistant Principal, Mordialloc College; and Colleen Cochrane, the International Student Program Coordinator, of Macleod College. The meeting was chaired by the English Department Head, Mr G Manchester. Read on to learn about the experiences.

  Kalif, Hayden, Andree, Amy

Last Friday, our class chatted with three guests who shared with us experiences and stories about their schools in Australia. We also had a chance to answer their many questions about Hong Kong’s education system.

Let us start with schools in Australia which can be said to have a more flexible curriculum. Students there get to choose a language to learn (other than English) from 8 languages depending on their interest or based on the country where their parents or grandparents are from. Another difference is that they can use electronic devices more freely. It is a bit different here in Shung Tak as we can only use these gadgets depending on the lesson.

We were curious about the school environment in Australia as we know that it should be very different when compared to our own school campus. Our question of, “Are there wild animals on the school campus, especially if there is a huge grassland?” was met with a resounding, “Yes!” They could see not only cows and foxes but even sometimes koalas can be found in school. Their way of protecting and living peacefully with these wild animals is also inspiring to us.

Time went quickly and very soon it was time to say goodbye. It was a fun time to use our English, to exchange ideas and experiences, and to also learn more about another culture.

Exploring the differences in education systems between Hong Kong and Australia.

Hayley, Lila, Christy, Abbie, Anne

Last Friday, we surprisingly got a precious opportunity to share and chat with three foreign teachers about the education systems of our school and Australian schools. We prepared a couple of questions to ask them in order to have a deeper understanding of Australian schools and culture.

Our Class Chairperson got things started by telling our three guests about the class so they could have a better understanding of our classmates. We then also shared information about our school life such as how many electives we are studying and when we need to arrive at school.

Soon, it was their time to answer our questions about Australian school life. As some of us are interested in studying overseas, we asked about the fee of studying in Australian universities. One of the guests replied, “It is around AU$50,000”, which is over HK$250,000 per year! Moreover, we would like to know the variety of subjects that students could choose to study. They told us that there are many more subjects than in HK schools, just as an example for language alone, there are over eight choices! Students in Australia can also enjoy clubs and house activities in school.

After this one-hour chat, we can definitely say that we have a greater understanding of Australian culture and schools. We treasure this opportunity to chat with foreign teachers and we hope to join this kind of meeting again soon!

A wonderful Talk with our Australian Guests

Jerry, Jenny, Ken, Naty, Jay

Last Friday, three guests from Australia came to visit our school, and we were very pleased to have them in our English lesson.

In the valuable 1-hour class, we discussed and shared the similarities, differences, and uniqueness of the two education systems.

We began with a warm welcome from the whole class, followed by a quick self-introduction from the teachers. We then started discussing topics like school life, workload, and the systems.

We talked about the approximate expenditure for students from Hong Kong to go studying in Australia, which most students were curious about. It is expected that studying in Australia will be much more expensive than in Hong Kong, but what I was surprised about was that there are many scholarships for people from overseas, and different subsidies to help overseas students study there, which had also answered our question on how Australia became such a popular place for studying abroad.

One unique feature of Australian schools that I liked the most, or surprised about the most, is that the students can study different language lessons, and this was included in the school’s curriculum, which is totally different from Hong Kong schools.

Through chatting with the teachers, we Shungtakians could gain more knowledge about the places/countries and could share our uniqueness with people overseas. We are grateful for having the chance to talk with them.

Talk with Australians

Marcus, Hayden, Carrie, Joe, Tink

On 3rd May, Friday, we, 5M, got a great opportunity to speak with educators from Australia.

As we sat in one big circle, we started with a brief introduction before moving on to talk about the education systems in Hong Kong and Australia.

We started with the money part of how much is needed to pay for learning in Australia per year and then moved to the learning curriculum in their schools. We understood more about the languages required in Australia with children aged over seven having to learn another language, such as Japanese or Greek.

For extra-curricular activities, most activities are held within their school time, unlike us, who have them after school. They have activities like basketball competitions between houses during lunchtime, for example. We then moved to talk about students having part-time jobs and learned that it was very common for students there to do part-time jobs after school at the supermarket, for example, unlike us, who spend our time either doing extra-curricular activities or getting tutored.

One thing they asked that surprised us was why our classrooms are so clean. In Australia, they didn’t have a classroom cleanliness system like us, so they aren’t really required to make sure the classroom is clean and tidy every day. They were really surprised by this because they said that their classrooms were quite messy. They even praised our boys for having very clean white trousers!

It was a rewarding chance for us to explore more about the education system of different places. It was also a great cultural exchange right in our 5M classroom! This short time with our guests would surely be one of our favorite S5 memories.

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