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Teams in Residence -Term 2 2016

Schools teams in attendance at the ALPINE SCHOOL CAMPUS for our Term 2, Victorian Young Leaders to China (VYLC) and Alpine School program are from:

  • Colac Secondary College
  • Bright P - 12 College
  • Timboon P-12 College
  • Daylesford Secondary College
  • Ballarat - Wendouree Campus
  • Mount Clear College
  • North Geelong Secondary College
  • Rainbow Secondary College
  • Matthew Flinders Girls Secondary College

Term 2 2016 SSL 9 Week program at the Alpine School Campus starts on Sunday April 17th (Student Arrival at Alpine School) – Departing for China May 7th, returning on June 18 2016

Victorian Young Leaders to China Program

Teams in Residence -Term 2b 2016

Schools teams in attendance at the ALPINE SCHOOL CAMPUS for our Term 2b Program:

  • Box Hill High School
  • East Doncaster Secondary College
  • Brentwood Secondary College
  • Camberwell High School

Term 2b 2016 SSL 6 Week program at the Alpine School Campus starts on Sunday May 15th (Student Arrival at Alpine School) – Departing June 25 2016

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Letter to Parents - Return from the Guangxi Province of China.

Dear all,
We have all arrived back safely to the Utahloy International School after our week away undertaking many adventurous and positive experiences up at Longsheng and Yangshou in the Guangxi Province of China.

VYLC Trip to Longsheng

After the initial long day of travelling, the next day’s saw us spend time in a minority village in Longsheng where we were surrounded by the rice terraces and witnessed whole communities working together. We were treated to hotel style accommodation, amazing Chinese meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The accommodation was basic for our second night, yet it gave us all a great insight into local village life and the architecture of the surrounding rice terraced hills. The students hiked from one village via the rice terraces to another. The villages are set high in the mountains and road access is limited, hence we got to see the local farmers preparing the terraces for planting, and also were treated to a village where the women do not cut their hair from birth. They gave a demonstration as to managing, cleaning and tying their hair up. Fascinating!

We are encouraging the students to begin gathering research information towards areas they hope to address as part of their project and presentation they need to complete in school groups. There is a lot of development in the area with the increase in tourism, so there are many different areas students could investigate. Perhaps you could ask some questions about their project ideas too.

Following Longsheng, we spent time in Yangshou and this time stayed in a very western style hotel with luxury beds and buffet breakfast to say the least. The students continued with their Mandarin classes and begun doing their ‘headcount’ or roll call of student numbers in Mandarin. This has been a success. They have also practiced their Mandarin language when bargaining or purchasing gifts or souvenirs. Again, here they have shown good development. We are all learning how to write and recognise Hanzi characters, the Mandarin written language and are tested most days.

Visiting Yanshou - Guangxi Province

Whilst in Yangshou, there was quite a lot of rain which thwarted access to some of the activities, due to flooding. Hence, some groups did slightly different activities and the students took this on really well and enjoyed everything they did. They were all managed well by the Outdoor adventure company with safety being our priority, as I reassured this to the students and the activity instructors and guides.

Overall, students experienced some of the following activities; rock climbing, bike riding, community service, day walking to a local tower viewpoint, fan painting, tai chi, caving or abseiling. Their approach to taking on the new challenges or experiences was positive as they were prepared to give whatever they did a go. They reflected upon their learning and their own personal journey of achievement and challenge.

As we are now back at Utahloy for this week, they are immersing themselves again into more localised learning, as soon we will be preparing and packing to head off to Hong Kong island and the beach area of Pak Lap for 5 days next week.

Busy days continue with daily Mandarin classes merged in there too.

Enough for now,

xie xie and ziajian.





Term 2b - Welcome to New Students

Today we welcome group Term 2b to the Alpine School Campus. Twenty students from Box Hill, East Doncaster, Brentwood and Camberwell. They are here for 6 weeks and are settling in well. Look forward to a great term!

Six Week On-Campus Program

Letter to Parents - Update from China: We are off to Yangshou

Hello all,
Or, I should be saying Ni Hao.

Alpine China Program Term 2 2016

We have all been learning mandarin since we arrived and for most of us it has been challenging to say the least, but we are making progress.

With our first week behind us, the students are in full swing with their China experience, adjusting to their new surroundings of the Utahloy International School, the humidity of the weather and the food as well, to say the least. They have ventured into Guangzhou, the big city where we flew into and have explored a traditional Chinese medicine market, where you can find all sorts of things that have a purpose for well-being. This experience definitely challenged the senses; seeing things such as turtles, hedgehogs, snakes, seahorses, funguses and many other unique items that you could use, all dried and prepared for purchase. The students had to identify and research what many of these things were used for and try to find out the price, using their newly acquired Mandarin language skills.

Doing daily Mandarin classes has been quite challenging but beneficial nonetheless. They have learnt some basics, tones, greetings, numbers and even some writing Chinese Script (Hanzi). It will be interesting to see how far their Mandarin language will have come after five more weeks.

Early tomorrow morning we leave Utahloy and travel for 8 hours in a bus to another province to stay in the village of Longshen and then move onto Yangshou. This is a popular tourist area and the students will need to practice their bargaining skills in order to purchase gifts or souvenirs. It will be another eye opening experience for them all, seeing the rice terraces of Longshen and the natural beauty of the Karst Mountains in Yangshou. I am confident you will see some wonderful photos from them at some stage following.

Alpine - China Program Term 2 2016

Paper Cutting WorkshopOther activities the students have done this week have been paper cutting, karaoke, visiting the old part of Zengcheng city, bike riding to a local village, spending a day ‘shadowing’ a fellow student from the International School and observing a traditional Chinese medicine demonstration. A couple of staff experienced some acupuncture, cupping and skin scraping demonstrations, as students were not allowed. I felt the students found this interesting and entertaining at the same time. All valuable learning.

During their rest day most students had a good relax watching a movie or two and some having a sleep, while some spent some time at the pool or went for a bike ride. A lot of the students are keeping active by making the most of the evening activities in the gymnasium where they play either basketball, soccer or volleyball with the local boarders. Hence, they are keeping busy.

Please be aware that in leaving early tomorrow morning (Mon 16th May) to Yangshou, we will not be taking any laptops on this part of their China experience, so email contact from us or your children will not occur until when we return to the Utahloy International School late on Sunday May 22nd or you will receive messages from Monday May 23rd again.

Overall, the students have settled in well to their new surroundings here at Utahloy and are soaking in the learning of the cultural experiences around them.

Russell Shem

Gnurad Gundidj Campus
Snowy River Campus
The Alpine School Campus

School For Student Leadership

School for Student Leadership is a Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development initiative offering a unique residential education experience for year nine students. The curriculum focuses on personal development and team learning projects sourced from students' home regions. There are three campuses in iconic locations across Victoria. The Alpine School Campus is located at Dinner Plain in the Victorian Alps. Snowy River Campus is near the mouth of the Snowy River at Marlo in east Gippsland. The third site is adjacent to Mount Noorat near Camperdown in Victoria’s Western District, and is called Gnurad-Gundidj. After consultation with the local aboriginal community, this name represents both the indigenous name of the local area and an interpretation of the statement "belonging to this place". It opened for students in term 1 2009.