“Exploration, thinking differently, surpassing insecurities and limits…”
These are some of the aspects that the president of Southville International School Affiliated with Foreign Universities (SISFU) wants to develop in the students of her school, through unique learning experiences brought about by their partnerships with international educational institutions. Their new partnerships with Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology and the University of Auckland in New Zealand proved to be an inaugural success, with their students experiencing those aspects first-hand.
In March 2018, 15 senior high school students from SISFU, accompanied by 2 of their teachers, flew to the North Island to participate in a Cultural and Leadership Programme. Upon arrival and after taking in their fresh new environment, the group was off to visit some of Auckland's famous landmarks: the SkyTower, showing breathtaking 360 degree views of the city, the Viaduct, for a glimpse of the city at night and a cruise to Rangitoto Island, to hike through a volcanic garden.
The programme was also filled with a plethora of school interactions. From a local grade school (St Thomas More Catholic School), to Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology and NZ’s top University, The University of Auckland, the students learned about and experienced an authentic New Zealand schooling environment.
All the educational exposure was balanced out with cultural and recreational immersion, kiwi style of course! The students experienced everything New Zealand has to offer, starting with the alpaca and dairy farms and moving on to the unique Tamaki Maori Village experience and hot pools. They visited the Hobbiton movie set, hiked up waterfalls and mountain trails, and took charge of cooking on the grill during some nights of the programme.
The entire programme was an unforgettable experience for all the students - they enjoyed it so much that they want to see more! Some of them are looking forward to going back down under to NZ’s bigger cousin, Australia in early 2019, together with a new batch of SISFU students.