Recently Duval High School was host to three overseas visitors from Sungduk Middle School in Daejon City located in the Republic of Korea. Mr Kim (Head Teacher of English) and school captains Po and Joon arrived in Armidale on Tuesday, 7 August and later toured Duval High School as part of the Australia-Korea ConneXion Program. In the following days both school captains experienced day to day life as a student at Duval High School, and had firsthand experience of viewing Dangar Falls on a cold winter's day and patting a kangaroo for the first time.
The Australia-Korea ConneXion Program is an initiative that is run through the University of New England School of Education with backing from the Federal Government and the NSW Department of Education and Communities. The program aims to develop cultural exchange and awareness between Australian and Korean school students through video conferencing and using digital presentation technologies. By connecting digitally and with regular video conferencing sessions, students will enhance their attitudes and values not just about a foreign culture but also their own.
The video conference started with Alana Smith and Ella Ramsay (and their class 8C) presenting an introduction about Duval High School to Sungduk Middle School students in Korea. This session also included presentations by the Sungduk school captains Po and Joon introducing Korea and the interesting genre of music "K-Pop", followed by a question and answer session for each presentation. The Duval and Sungduk School Principals and the School Education Director, Mr Phil Jones, were all impressed with the excellent presentations.
The visit by students from Sungduk and their teacher Mr Kim has been such a success that an arrangement has been made for Sungduk Middle School and Duval High School to become sister schools, utilising the Australia- Korea ConneXion program as a stepping stone for further relations. The future goal is to broaden the Duval High School curriculum to include Korean as a language in Year 7 and extend the current cultural awareness program including a proposed visit to Korea.
On their departure from Armidale on 10 August, Mr Kim, Po and Joon expressed their gratitude and enjoyment of their time with the Duval High School community, and have offered to host students and their teachers for a visit to Korea next year. This is an enticing opportunity for all involved and Duval High School is looking forward to furthering the positive relationship with Sungduk Middle School and its students.