From the LOTE Department

Image: representatives of Radford College and Chinese Sister School

Author: Di Fitzpatrick, Head of LOTE

Sister School in China

During the Summer Holidays, Mrs Godfrey and I visited Beijing to explore the possibility of setting up a sister school for Radford College. The school we visited is called The High School Affiliated to Beijing International Studies University. The school is very interested in languages and their students have opportunities to interact with students from all around the world. A quote from their school:

BISU High School is viewed as the ?Education Foreign Affairs Demonstration Window School in Chaoyang District? To live up to that reputation, it has been working hard on exploring international education for students, and handling foreign affairs. The school has been exchanging with international friendly school actively and receiving their visits warmly. So far, BISU High School has established friendly relationships with many famous middle schools in the UK, the United States, Germany, France, Spain, and Australia etc. BISU High School exchange visits with these friendly schools regularly.

Discussions about Chinese Sister School

It was a successful visit, resulting in Mrs Godfrey signing a Memorandum of Understanding between the two schools. The welcome provided to us was warm and we were treated to a lovely lunch provided by the school?s cooks. Every day the school?s staff has a warm lunch as part of their working day. We met staff and toured the school seeing the students hard at work. We also visited a Chinese family in their house, to see first-hand the type of house a Radford student might homestay in on exchange. We are confident Radford?s first Chinese Educational Tour in September this year will be successful.

Tohoku Youth Program

During the summer holidays, I also visited Sendai, Miyagi the prefecture and town, which was the most affected area after the 2011 tsunami in Japan. My primary reason was to catch up with some of the students we have hosted at Radford and also to visit Rainbow House in Miyagi and Sendai. Rainbow Houses were set up after the tsunami to help deal with the stresses for families and communities who lost loved ones, houses, jobs etc. as a result of the tsunami.

Tohoku Youth Program - conversation room

Image: Tohoku Youth Program - conversation room

After touring the affected area and realizing that even after four years, there is still a lot to be done, we returned later in the afternoon to Rainbow House. I was greeted by Hina, running down the stairs to welcome me by throwing her arms around my neck! Hina attended Radford in 2013. It was a wonderful welcome. In total four students and their families came to visit us at Rainbow House. Hina and Moe had made dinner for us. It was a lovely time of catching up with the students and the workers at Rainbow House. It is still clear the experience of coming to Australia/Radford, continues to influence the students? future dreams.

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