Overseas Learning Experience Parent Information

Program targets

    • Students who would not otherwise have a similar opportunity
    • Those who are most likely to exhibit personal growth as a result of their participation and for who the program will have a long term impact on their life decisions
    • Those who will be outstanding ambassadors for their College, the Gippsland Region and for Australia
    • There are no academic level or prior conduct pre-requisites but there is an expectation that selected students will be fully committed to their class studies related to this program and will be exemplary ambassadors
    • Selection of students:
      • Will be based on the criteria relating to program targets as outlined above
      • Selection will be based on written applications followed by shortlisting and interviews
      • The Interview panel will include a Department representative from the Regional Office and the School Principal

Details of the study tour

  • The tour will last approximately  21 days
  • We have requested to travel in October – approximate dates are October 17th through to November 7th. This is in the first few weeks of Term 4.
  • About nine days of this time will be spent in Homestay with families from our sister school in Changshu. Our students will attend school during this time. Accompanying teachers will also be present at the school and will meet with students at the start of each day, at lunchtime and usually after school.
  • The remainder of the time will be spent touring as a group with the Itinerary expected to include visits to X’ian (Terracotta Warriors), Shanghai and Beijing
  • The tour group will be accompanied by Principals and teachers from the two schools involved and a representative from the Gippsland Regional Office. One of the teachers in the group will be a Chinese speaker.
  • All student accommodation, travel, tours, visas and food is provided by the funding from the Department. Students and their families will be responsible for the cost of obtaining passports, any inoculations etc recommended by family doctors, personal luggage and belongings, personal prescription medication (eg asthma) and personal spending money
  • Previous trips have recommended a limit of $600-$700 personal spending money per student. The tour group will negotiate an agreed limit, using this as a guideline. Spending money will only be required for souvenirs, gifts for family etc.
  • The tour party will determine a final protocol for use of mobile phones & for home contact while travelling. Students will probably be encouraged to take their phones and to add a local SIM card, to support student safety, group organisation. However, they will be discouraged from making regular phone contact with home and encouraged to use email instead. This is to encourage students to make the most of the experience of being away from home and to ensure that the staff who are accompanying the group are fully aware of any issues being experienced by students. Staff will take responsibility for contacting parents if issues do arise.


  • The Changshu sister schools will select suitable host families. It is considered to be a great privilege and honour to host Western children and a great loss of face if the experience does not work out well.
  • Chinese families often live in apartments with several generations of their family. Due to the One-child policy, most families have just one child
  • Our students will be paired up with a Changshu family following an exchange of information about interests etc. Each student will be the only guest of each selected families – it is difficult for Chinese families to accommodate more than one additional guest
  • While with their host families, students will participate in the everyday life of the family and the student, in the same way that occurs when our students and families host students from other countries.


  • Once selected, students will be placed in an elective subject for the Overseas Learning Experience. This elective will run for Semester 2.
  • Students may have little choice about which of their current subjects they will be withdrawn from, as that is determined by timetabling.
  • The Overseas Learning Experience elective is part of the commitment the College has as part of the funding. It will be timetabled, assessed and reported on in the same way as other elective subjects.
  • In this class students will prepare for their tour experience. This will include preparing passport applications, determining a Code of Conduct for the tour, budgeting spending money, familiarisation with Chinese culture and etiquette. There will also be an opportunity to learn some commonly used Chinese language phrases. The main requirements of us made by the program funding are:
    • Students must complete an extensive enquiry-based learning project examining how youth culture in China is different from our own. Their work must be submitted to the Department as part of the accountability requirements
    • Following the tour, students must complete a report on their experiences and this must also be provided to the Department.

The College has high expectations that the selected students will be exemplary representatives of the College at all times.

A lot more information will be provided about China and Changshu for those students selected into the program.

Students need to complete an expression of interest by the date shown. Applicants will then be shortlisted and those shortlisted will have an interview. Following the interviews all applicants will be informed of those students who have been selected.


Monday July 16th at 3.30pm

Late applications will not be accepted.

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