Ties forged after visit
Awatapu College has farewelled 13 Indonesian students from the province of Jambi this week, with Mary Cherian Mathews, the dean for international students, optimistic some will be back.
They were part of a contingent of 17 students, aged 15 to 17, selected for Jambi Government scholarships for the one-month "taster" visit. The boys in the group were placed at Palmerston North Boys' High School.
The students ended their stay this week, but a group of science teachers, 12 at Boys' High and five at Awatapu College, will stay on until December 7.
Ms Mathews said the exchange students spoke good English, made friends, and particularly enjoyed the opportunity to try subjects they had not studied before, such as furniture construction and textiles.
"They came for the educational experience, the culture and language experience," she said. "It was, in part, a reward for high-achieving students."
The visitors came from schools that were switching over to using English as their medium of instruction, and the teachers valued the chance to refine their abilities to teach course content in a second language.
It was also a valuable experience for the local students.
"It was wonderful to see these ties forged between young people."