During the summer select Newport Harbor students were granted the opportunity to experience the schools sister school, Weribee Secondary College near Melbourne, Australia, there they experienced Australia’s wildlife, culture and education system.
After the exchange students from Weribee Secondary College absorbed American culture during their visit to Newport Harbor in January, they were excited to share there culture with students from Newport Harbor High School.
Junior Kiley Roach enjoyed holding koalas and feeding kangaroos at the zoo in Cairns. Along with going to see wildlife at zoos, students also swam in the Great Barrier Reef. “We saw turtles, fish, octopuses, sharks and giant clams! It was so much fun.” said Roach. Teacher and chaperon John Hoist recalls the snorkeling, “bucket list material.”
This trip, like most trips did not go without some difficulty. At the airport their luggage was being charged at an unexpected and extremely high rate, so students wore as much clothes as possible to lower the weight of their bags, therefore lowing the price and did so effectivity despite the stares and even picture taking from other passengers. Regardless of this mishap and the difficulty of driving on the opposite side of the street the trip went smoothly.
When asked to compare Americans to Australians Hoist claimed, “Australia is more like the United States then anywhere else I have been.” Roach also commented that she enjoyed attending their school for a day and even though it was much different from back home she said, “I felt like I was actually going to their school except for the fact that they were all wearing the same uniforms and I was in jeans and a jacket.” Hoist also commented on their hospitality in saying, “it seems that the people go out of their way to be friendly and accommodating.”