Shifting Student Paradigms Through Immersion Programs

Shifting Student Paradigms Through Immersion Programs

It is only by stepping away from the normality of well-rehearsed experiences that can people grow to realise their immense capacity and potential, those of other people and the true magnificence of the world and its peoples.”

The students in front of us will not only be citizens of their home countries, but citizens of the world, enjoying many opportunities to live and work in countries other than their own.  One of the most effective means for preparing students to meet that challenge is through the intensive study of another language and culture, including a period of immersion. Plucking students from the familiarity of their normal school and family routines, we can place them into a landscape that deliberately challenges and inspires their understandings of themselves, of other people and the world. The students’ mode of learning is experiential. Students learn by doing. Successes: Failures: Wonders.

Each year nearly 400 students from Melbourne’s Caulfield Grammar School embark on a unique learning experience for five weeks in Nanjing, China.  Come learn about how the Internationalism promotes personal independence through active learning, and how our students acquire many practical skills associated with living, learning and operating in an unfamiliar cultural environment. Each student will set in motion, through their proactive participation: Learning; Reflection and; Inspiration about themselves and others that will continue long after they return to familiar ground; perhaps even for a lifetime.

Session Audience:

Middle School / High School / Admin

Session Goals:

Together we will explore the journey of creating and sustaining a cultural immersion program -sharing the successes and missteps along the way –  while giving practical advice to schools looking to form their own immersion experience.

Session Outcomes

  • See examples of students’ personal growth
  • Understand how an internationalism- program was conceived and developed
  • Gain practical advice for implementing a similar program within their own schools

Presenter Bio:

Mike Gregory has been the Head of Newton Hall, the Nanjing Campus of the Caulfield Grammar School since January 2016. Prior to this appointment he was the Deputy Headmaster of the Toowoomba Anglican College and Preparatory School (Now Toowoomba Anglican School), Australia’s only school offering day and boarding programs for boys and girls from Year 1 through to Year 12. There he proudly served rural families from across Queensland’s vast and remote interior. Previous to that, he was the Director of Learning at Geelong Grammar School’s Timbertop Campus; another full time residential Year 9 program.