SOLOMONS WELCOME 10 KOREAN EXCHANGE STUDENTS

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By Moffat Mamu

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, March 13) - The10 Korean students who are the first to come to Solomon Islands under a student exchange program between Perch Christian School and Korea’s School of Tomorrow (SOT) started their three months program yesterday.

The students arrived with their school principal Paul Hong on Saturday.

Yesterday students, staff and parents of Perch Christian School officially welcomed the group who will be living in the Solomon Islands for the next three months.

Perch Christian School principal Herman Ake said the exchange program is history in the making for Perch

"This program is an initiative of Perch education authority director Lydia Yeo who is aware of the SOT program, which is exercised in over 150 countries," Mr. Ake said.

According to the principal, the Korean students - four boys and six girls - will be attending grade six classes at Perch under local supervision.

"This is history for us because so many times local students went overseas on exchange programs but this time it is the students coming over. If this program is successful in Solomon Islands then we will look at sending our local students overseas on similar programs," Ake said.

Mr. Hong told Solomon Star that coming to Solomon Islands was a new experience for his students because they usually only go to countries like U.S.A., Canada and other Asian countries under the exchange program.

"This three months will enable my students to learn more about English," Hong said.

Hong, who is a dedicated Christian, said that most of the students were selected based on their English learning.

He said some of the students could read English but could not speak or write it because in Korea they are taught only in Korean.

"Therefore, coming to Solomon Islands will allow them to speak and write in English.

"Not only that but it will allow them to exchange and share new ideas and cultural practices.

"So we are pleased to be here to participate in the program," the Korean principal said.

Hong will leave for Korea on Friday and will return a week before his exchange students’ program lapses, which is towards the end of May.

During the three months the students will be leaving with local parents whose children are attending Perch.

Mrs. Yeo said each of the 10 students would be adopted by 10 local parents.

"This means students will leave with a family for one month and then rotate. The students will live, sleep, eat, do all sorts of activities like the local family. This is the most interesting part of the program because it will enable the Korean students to experience the local culture," she said.

She said a lot of parents have applied to adopt the students; therefore, the students will live with a family for one month and then move to the next family.

Expenses for the exchange were met by the students.

Upon their return to Korea they will make a report about their trip to their parents and school.

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