The graduation of our 2018 Year 12 students made me think about all the opportunities they have before them. Most will travel far more than their parents ever did and some may even end up living overseas.
Not everyone has the opportunity to travel and our children don’t have to wait until graduation to learn about the wonderful world we live in. In a recent Principals’ Digest I was reading about six ways to travel the world without leaving home and thought I’d share them with you.
- Read around the world. Focus on one area of the globe each month — Africa, Europe, North America and read age-appropriate books and stories about the regions. Once you have covered major areas you may want to look at specific countries like Greece, Turkey, etc.
- Try international foods. Try to eat every type of cuisine you can. Night markets often have a range of ethnic foods, usually reasonably priced. Choose from the international sections of the supermarket to cook new recipes. Visit an Asian or Middle Eastern supermarket and see what you can discover. Invite friends from different cultures to cook for you or teach you some recipes. Use the maps to show the family where people eat these foods.
- Use the TV. I don’t often recommend watching TV but there is nothing wrong with learning about another country by enjoying a good documentary together. Ask questions during and after the program and prompt curiosity about different cultures and geographies.
- Sponsor a child. Families can give money to help a child out of poverty through organisations such as Compassion. Make it a family project that everyone contributes to. Discuss the other child’s home country and culture, and the challenges they face.
- Invite neighbours into your home. Often we don’t have to travel further than our neighbourhood to find other cultures. Greet neighbours from different backgrounds. Learn to say hello in their language and show friendship. They are often eager to make friends in their new country and everyone benefits from breaking down barriers.
- Host an exchange student. We are often asked as a College to promote these opportunities. Some are just for one week and others are for much longer. Talk to your children about the possibilities and find out what countries they are interested in.
The world is a wondrous place with lots of different cultures. Start exploring them now without even leaving home.
Mike Curtis, Principal