Viewbank College offers students the opportunity to participate in exchange programs to Germany and Japan. Students strengthen their understanding of language and culture, as they are immersed in the language and in daily life. Participants become members of the local community by attending school and staying with host families. In addition to developing a stronger understanding of language and culture, exchange participants strengthen and develop their communication, analytical and problem solving skills. Participants also establish life-long friendships and foster a deeper appreciation of home and family. After participating in exchange programs, students have an enhanced interest in global issues as well as a broader general knowledge. Prospective employers look favourably upon experience gained while living overseas and knowledge obtained from learning another language and culture. The exchange programs are an exciting opportunity for students who are studying German or Japanese to further develop their language acquisition skills and intercultural understandings.
Viewbank College has a well-established German Exchange Program. It is undertaken in partnership with schools in Geelong and is 5 weeks in duration. Students live in Marburg, which is in the German state of Hesse. Two weeks of the exchange is (normally) during the Victorian Easter holidays.
The exchange is reciprocal as students are matched with a partner. Viewbank students host and then travel to Germany. Students attend each other’s school and enjoy experiencing the similarities and differences in the school systems.
Another highlight of the trip is the four-day trip to Berlin. In Germany’s capital, students visit historical and cultural landmarks, including those which once divided East and West Germany. Students increase their awareness of culture as they are immersed in daily life such as Easter celebrations, sorting recycling and returning plastic bottles and cans to receive the deposit refund.
We maintain a long association with Narita Kokusai Senior High School in Japan. Biannually, students have the opportunity to experience the language, culture and the hospitality in Chiba prefecture. Homestay families provide care and support as well as delicious meals, interesting trips and an insight into Japanese lifestyle. We also take the time to visit Asakusa and Ahihabara in Tokyo, and spend a day at Tokyo Disneyland. In the corresponding years, students and their families look forward to hosting Narita students. Student experience in this program enriches both their language and cultural awareness.