Published : Tuesday, December 19, 2017 | 2:33 PM
For over a decade now, Clairbourn has enjoyed a student exchange program with its “sister” school Huntingtower in Melbourne, Australia. The exchange with Huntingtower is set up so each school alternates as the traveling group or the host.
This year, a group of 7th and 8th grade Clairbourn students were the travelers. They recently embarked on a 19 hour flight across the ocean to be welcomed by their Australian host families who were well prepared to show them the sights, sounds, and animals that are such a big part of Australian life.
A major highlight of the trip is visiting the Healsville Sanctuary full of native Australian animals where koala bears, kangaroos, wombats, dingos, and emus abound. Students also rode the Puffing Billy steam train, enjoyed paddle boats on Emerald Lake, and fed exotic birds in the Dandedong forest area. They also spent time interacting with students at Huntingtower and visited classes, had an art lesson to make boomerangs in two traditional aboriginal styles, and played popular Australian games with younger students. Huntingtower challenged Clairbourn students to a game of volleyball during their PE time.
Students also made their way to the city of Melbourne via train and learned how to get on and off at the correct stops. They Students participate in an interactive art exhibit called “ArtVo” in the city of Melbourne where people can become part of the art. It was so much fun taking pictures and figuring out how to incorporate themselves in the optical illusions of the art pieces.They also went to the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery Factory for a tour.
On the weekends, host families took their Clairbourn guests on a variety of excursions around town including Luna Park, the Eureka Skydeck, bike rides along the Yarra river, or rugby games at AAMI Park. While the ten-day adventure always passes by quickly, students soon find that the friendships, connections, and lessons gained from these trips are lasting.
Clairbourn School, 8400 Huntington Drive, San Gabriel, (626) 286-3108 or visit www.clairbourn.org.