By Brooke Haffenden
WALLAN Secondary College will soon be accepting international students as part of a new program.
The North Central Review can reveal that the college has been accredited by the Department of Education and Training for the International Student Program.
On March 15, Wallan Secondary College Principal Sally Lasslett will depart for China as part of the first Victorian Government roadshow to promote the college to Chinese education services with the possibility of meeting potential families who will participate in the program.
Ms Lasslett confirmed the program is in the early stages of development and should be up and running at the college by 2019.
Ms Lasslett said the program was a department initiative to bring students from overseas “into our schools so our students have global connections”.
“It’s important to our students as it brings our students a global perspective on life and a global experience. It enhances the second language abilities of our students and provides positive high performing peers to work with in the classroom,” she said.
“(We) look forward to allowing our students access to a variety of different cultural experiences and the opportunity to make links with people in other countries to improve employment pathways for our students.”
Ms Lasslett told the North Central Review that students who enrol in the program will come from countries such as China, Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia. They will attend the school in years 11 and 12 and complete their VCE over a three year period.
The aim of the program is for international students to then go to university in Australia.
At the maximum, the school will accept 20 students into the program which will have no impact on current enrolments.
Having opened the new VCE Learning Centre at the college last week, Ms Lasslett said the program will allow full use of the facility.
“We also get further funding to the college which will allow future school improvement, including an additional court at the gym which can then be available to the community as well,” she continued.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Education and Training said more than 250 Victorian government schools have been welcoming international students for more than 20 years, providing students from abroad an exciting opportunity to study in our local schools while experiencing Australia’s culture and lifestyle.
“Both international and local students benefit from Victoria’s international education program by developing a better understanding of the world and an appreciation of different views, cultures and languages,” she said.
“The jobs of the future are increasingly global, so it is essential that Victorian students have exposure to the wider world outside their own neighbourhood.
“Developing intercultural capabilities is an important part of the Victorian Curriculum and having our students sit side-by-side in class with students from other countries and cultural backgrounds is a great way of doing that – while at the same time building global friendships.”
Wallan Secondary College will also be looking for suitable homestay options. Homestays will be paid $250 a week.
For more information regarding homestays or the program, contact the International Student Program coordinator Lauren Mozzina on 5783 0300.