Published on: 31 October 2014

Twelve boys spent 10 days in Hong Kong as part of the Year 9 cultural immersion program at the end of Term 3. The boys got an insight into the life of a Hong Kong student at St Paul’s College and enjoyed plenty of sightseeing.

Mathematics teacher Ben Hodsdon, who accompanied the boys with staff member Alli Gould, said the aim of the program was to immerse boys in the school and daily life of Hong Kong students, fostering understanding, co-operation and relationships, and enhancing student connections as global citizens.

Jia-Wei Loh (Year 9) said on arriving at St Paul’s, the boys noticed a vast number of differences between the school and Christ Church. “The main difference was their use of space,” Jia-Wei said. “At our school we’re used to wide open fields and gardens where as at St Paul’s… it has buildings around 10-storeys tall and a small basketball court-sized area as a play area for the whole school.”

The boys were then introduced to their buddies who they spent the remaining 10 days living with. “When I arrived at my buddy’s apartment, I began to understand just how much space we take for granted,” Jia-Wei said. The boys spent the next two days sightseeing with their buddies, visiting famous areas of Hong Kong including The Peak, Mong Kok and the Stanley Markets.

Much like home, school life included assemblies, classes but also the opportunity to leave the campus at lunchtime to buy food. Jia-Wei said sporting experiences included swimming lessons, where surprisingly around half the class could not participate as they were unable to swim, as well as taking part in the school’s swimming gala finals. Jai-Wei said he shared a common interest of soccer with his buddy and enjoyed playing near his buddy’s home against other boys who lived in the area.

Other highlights included visiting the University of Hong Kong, Ocean Park and Disneyland. “All in all everyone on the Hong Kong tour had a great time and we would strongly recommend it to any Year 8 boys to apply,” he said.