IICS Immersion Program

IMG_0979A thrilling day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show. Sensational night views from the Harbor City complete with refreshing autumn winds. Eighteen well-spent hours together with fellow 8th graders who say Maccas when referring to McDonald’s and usually have breakfasts of toast with yeast extract and vegetable jam. I really enjoyed the Immersion Program and Study Trip to Sydney that I joined in the end of last March. This 10-day school trip was absolutely a great learning experience and a nice, well-planned program that our school, IICS, offered. Personally, I thought there were a lot of wonderful highlights from this excursion, some of which I would proudly like to share.

IMG_0980In my opinion, the Sydney Royal Easter Show was one of the best programs from the trip. Basically, The Easter Show is an annual event that takes place every March in Sydney. This world-famous event features a display of numerous goods from all over New South Wales (Sydney’s province), from fresh farmer crops to Australian paintings and only-Australian confectionery. I really enjoyed the event, as I was amazed by the beautiful crop displays by each district from New South Wales, the thick, soft, clean-cut wool featured in barns. Moreover, I got a chance to hop on several cool, breathtaking rides and to buy delicious, mouthwatering Australian chocolate and candy. I was moved to buy several Tim Tam chocolate packs after I heard an Australian native testify about that one-of-a-kind, exceptional taste obtained from dipping a Tim Tam chocolate bar with milk and letting the chocolate coat melt in your mouth. Best feeling ever, he stated.

IMG_1045I enjoyed many other events, including the Sydney Observatory Tour at night and the very tense but exhilarating Wild Ropes Experience I and my fellow friends faced. I was truly amazed by the beautiful Southern Hemisphere constellations that could be clearly identified and gazed at with my bare eyes. The Orion, the Southern Cross, and the Gemini Twins were just three of the many famous constellations shining at night in the Land Down Under. The Wild Ropes Experience in the Taronga Zoo was also very exciting and full of suspense, as each obstacle that had to be faced was to be conquered with a combination of strength, problem solving, and hanging on tightly (and sometimes for dear life). My friends and I enjoyed all the challenges from the Wild Ropes Experience, and at the end of the day, we felt more than satisfied.

IMG_1027The most memorable and, I believe, the star event of the trip, and the main dish of the night, had to be the 3-day Immersion Program at Covenant Christian School Belrose. Being immersed in a classroom together with friends and teachers I had never met before and witnessing different teaching and learning methods while being 5500 kilometers away from home, it was just a really great and pleasurable experience. From the moment they started dancing along to a traditional Indonesian dance, to the farewell moments where we had barbeque and played cricket, I felt like the Covie (a nickname for Covenant Christian School) students welcomed us very, very warmly. I myself got to know more about the school and learned a lot from it with the company of two very helpful and friendly buddies, one an Australian named Benjamin Gulliford, and the other a British called Joel Murray. We laughed and joked around with the always-smiling students who always tried their best to help us and make us feel comfortable in the school. They had a dazzling school, and the hearts of the teachers and students were also very kind and accepting. I myself really loved the school, from the concept of the building itself, the teaching-learning environment, and the way the students treated and made friends with each other. I really thank my buddies and the Covie teachers that accompanied IICS in the three-day Immersion Program.

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Overall, I had plenty of fun throughout the entire trip, and I can guarantee you that all my friends also enjoyed their time. The comfortable and strategically-located accommodation, the fun days that I miss hanging out with the Covie students, and the well planned program by IICS and study tour facilitator Excelzia all made me feel more than satisfied about the trip. If there was like a survey questionnaire if I enjoyed the trip or not, I would tick Very, Very Satisfied, (if that box existed) with no doubt. I really thank God for this opportunity to experience Australian culture with my friends and teachers in a very flourishing first-world country. I also want to express my gratitude to Ms. Joshie who helped make this trip possible and Mr. Marcello who patiently supervised us throughout the trip. I also feel very grateful of being able to go with my cooperative IICS friends. As I look back on the trip, my impression on it comes with only five very simple words that a very hospitable Covie student would always say, cool, cool, cool, cool, cool.

Klik here!to see Immersion Program photo gallery.

By: Isaac Edwin Winoto ( Class 8.1)

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