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Horowhenua College students visit Solok, Western Sumatera 2010

Post Date: 14 Nov 09       Category - International News

A 12-day trip to Solok, Western Sumatera, Indonesia for 5 of our students strengthened the relationship with three Solok High Schools who are part of the Solok/Horowhenua College Sister School Exchange programme.  Our students enjoyed experiencing a very different culture.   Students from Solok  visited Horowhenua College in November 2009 so it was with great excitement they reunited with their friends from Solok.  We made history as this was the first group  of New Zealand students to visit Indonesia.

The visit was hosted by the Solok Education Department.  The students  visited  10 schools in total to maximise the chances of the Solok students having time with the New Zealand visitors.  During this time the students spent time in classes with their billets, visited schools and were taught a traditional Indonesian dance which they performed later at the Farewell party.  Being billeted with families gave the students the opportunity to have a unique experience, learning the culture in a very different country.  Mrs Keeling, Dean of the international students, also visited a number of schools  and spoke at a seminar timed to coincide with the visit, organised by the Solok Education Department, speaking to 500 teachers/Principals which gave an ideal opportunity to promote New Zealand  in general and Horowhenua College in particular.

There was also time for sightseeing  around the city of Solok and an overnight trip to Maninjau and Bukkitingi . At Maninjau the group (Horowhenua College group, Solok billets, accompanying Solok staff/teachers) stayed at the top resort in Western Sumatera where the group was able to swim,  the only time while we were away. The Horowhenua College group would all agree that everything was different in Western Sumatera.  The people were all wonderful, very generous, warm, kind, respectful and could not do enough  for their New Zealand guests.  The food, temperature (33-35 degrees) humidity, dress, architecture, scenery ... all of which made it an exciting and interesting place to visit.

This opportunity broadened Horowhenua College students’ horizons, expanding their cultural experience and their personal growth.