World Learner Student Exchange Programme 2015
During the school holidays, some of us could be planning our year-end holiday trip or already have a few overseas trips to reminisce about. However, some 33 students from Sze Chuan are making their first trip out of home to Singapore and this could be their first and only overseas experience.
On 31st October 2015, 4 nEbO champions – Loraine, Jolyn, Gaines and I had the exclusive opportunity to be the organising committee to host these Sze Chuan students for a bicultural exchange in a day of fun-filled activities that will allow the students to understand about Singapore’s history, culture and our way of life.
Since Singapore is well-known to be a garden city, we started the day at our newly honoured World Heritage Site under UNESCO; the Singapore Botanic Gardens. The volunteers first met our student buddies and warmed up with some icebreaker games. We then went on a heritage tour where the students were intrigued by some of the plant facts. It was also a learning journey for us youth volunteers as we hardly have time to walk through the trail and find out about the garden city that we live in ourselves.
In order to introduce the Singapore culture and history in bite-size through interactive ways, we brought the students to the Singapore Discovery Centre. During our tour at the Army museum, the guide asked who, amongst the students, would want to be part of the army. A few hands rose without hesitation and when asked about their thoughts, a little girl said, “I will feel proud to be able to protect my country.” Her patriotism left many of us in awe.
In the evening, after a sumptuous dinner and a short reflection session, nEbO alumnus – Andy performed a few table magic tricks that amazed the Sze Chuan students. To end off the whole programme, the youth volunteers went up on stage spontaneously and sang a song “Peng You” (“Friends”) for the students. We then bade goodbye to our buddies and wished them well.
Although these students are merely 10 to 12 years old, they have taught me many life lessons with their curiosity, optimism in life and their love for their country and friends. I am very thankful to nEbO for giving the nEbO champions this opportunity for a bicultural exchange with these Sze Chuan students. Through this one day’s time we spent with the students, I sincerely hope that we were good tour guides and made their trip an enjoyable one.