French Cultural Exchange

A visit from our Sister School

Cultural exchanges are so important when it comes to learning and growing in our internationally-minded world. That's why we consider ourselves very lucky to currently have visitors from our sister school, Jean XXIII Metz, as part of the French Exchange Program. The students have been on a whirlwind adventure around the College and Brisbane so far and, this week, they even spent two days at Ironbark! Today (Friday 14 February), they returned to St Peters having filled up on Australian farm-life and are preparing to spend the next week with our students at school. 

The Ironbark Effect

If you’ve been in the St Peters community for a while, you will have a true understanding of ‘The Ironbark Effect’—the one that sees students departing the College as strangers and returning as a tight-knit cohort. Quite often, our Year 9s are reluctant to leave their home-lives at the start of the five-week experience, yet, when it comes time for them to return, they don’t want to come back! While the students from Jean XXIII Metz only went to our iconic Outdoor Education centre for two days, the Ironbark Effect was felt by them too.

Our sister school students returned from Ironbark as a close unit. There, they experienced Cronins, slept in swags, made damper in the campfire, went on the Flying Fox, swam in the dam and saw a Koala in the wild. The students were so moved by what life out near Crows Nest is like, and the recent bushfires, that, on their return they conducted a special presentation to the RSPCA, donating much-needed animal pouches to assist recovery efforts—what an incredible gesture!

Where to now?

With the sun finally beating down in Brisbane again, our French Exchange students are heading off to the pool. They plan to visit Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, South Bank and the Museum before they depart next week, and we wish them the very best of weather so they can get a true taste of summer in our beautiful river city. Thank you to all Jean XXIII Metz students are staff for coming to visit us. We know that our students and host families have revelled in the opportunity to practise their French with you. Thank you also to our host families for supporting this exchange by billeting students. It has been an extremely successful trip all round!