The students are on a 12-day experience that will assist them in learning English, feeling at home in our school environment and appreciating our part of Australia.
The following article is written by Sarah Inoue from Calvary English School.
“After 18 years, Tenison Woods College continues to draw us back. Students from Calvary English School, Japan have visited Tenison Woods College no less than ten times Since 2001. Each student stays with their host family in Mt. Gambier, goes to school every day with their host siblings while experiencing the authentic Australian lifestyle.
In Japan, elementary school children go to sleep at 10-11pm. When our students arrive here, one of the first things that they realise is how early people go to bed. The delegation students would ask me, “The entire house is dark by 8:30pm. What should I do?” I simply tell them, “Just close your eyes, take a deep breath, and go to sleep. Just like they do”. I see my students grow healthier and stronger each day. Here are some of my favorite quotes from them.
“I love the moment when the whole family laughs together, even though I have no idea what they are talking about.”
“Toilet paper is located too far away, and I can’t reach it...”
“Do they have live kangaroos in Australia? Why are they all dead on the street?”
“I love my host mom’s lasagna.”
Every year, I am astonished to see how dramatically our students change. After three weeks at Tenison Woods College, they are visibly more confident - not just in their language skills, but in everything - from talking to new people, stating their opinion clearly, and simply being themselves. Even after arriving back in Japan, they continue to express their emotions freely. They are not afraid to hug and to show love. This is because their Australian family has shown them how to love and be loved. My students know that they always have another family in Mt. Gambier.
When I first came to Tenison Woods College, I was four years old. I was put in Ms. Jill Rogers’ reception class. I remember being too nervous to ask to borrow an eraser. I have continued to come back as a student. My host family’s grandchildren and I grew up together, and we continue to visit each other between two our countries. For the past three years, I have been coming back as one of the teachers. After 18 years, I have seen many of the students’ host siblings grow into adults. Some coming back as teachers, some having their own kids and some visiting Japan.
This April we will be hosting 22 Tenison Woods College students, parents and teachers for two weeks in Japan.
This long-term relationship between Calvary and Tenison Woods College is a treasure. We are thankful to Principal David Mezinec, our coordinator Annie Clifford, and Trent Eitzen for always supporting us and making this trip come true. We are thankful to all of you for always sharing your kindness and accepting us warmly.
We will see you next year, and may God bless you.”
Sarah Inoue | Calvary English School
Tenison Woods College respectfully acknowledges the Boandik people are the First Nations people of the Mount Gambier South Eastern region of South Australia and pay respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, past, present and emerging.