In our ever-shrinking world, it is increasingly important that young people develop global and cultural awareness, and immersion in an overseas school and family for 4 - 5 weeks is an ideal way for this to occur. Students in Years 9 and 10 have the opportunity to apply for a four week exchange program with schools in Auckland, New Zealand and Edinburgh, Scotland.
The selection process is fairly rigorous as successful participants require a high degree of resilience, as do their families. Girls who have been selected to participate in this program have had a variety of experiences, some of which have been difficult but all of which have resulted in a growth in their independence and a greater appreciation of life in another part of the world, as well as a different view of life in Australia. Hosting a girl from another country can be very challenging for both the host sister and her family, and this in itself has been a significant part of the experience for the participants.
This aspect of the global education of our students provides wonderful opportunities, not only for the participants, but also for the other girls who assist with the hosting of our international guests. Our links with our sister schools have also involved staff exchanges and there have been most successful collaborations between entire classes as well as individuals.
Sarvodaya India is an annual service trip to India which visits cities and remote communities, reaching out to the poor and marginalised. Students, after a rigorous application process, are chosen, and participate in a formation process that prepares then to work within Mother Teresa's House in Calcutta, in a school for street children, in a Hospital for HIV positive children, with children retrieved from child slave labour, and with the poorest students who live remotely.