Littlest exchange

 Teacher Andie Browne, head of junior school Andy McNabb and international engagement and investment officer LCC Jie Liu with students and parents. photograph patrick adams

Teacher Andie Browne, head of junior school Andy McNabb and international engagement and investment officer LCC Jie Liu with students and parents. photograph patrick adams

Normally it is only older students that embark on international exchange programs, however, St Paul's Anglican Grammar School in Traralgon has been hosting a number of primary school-aged exchange students from China in recent weeks.

Head of junior school Andy McNabb said the young students were accompanied by their parents on the big trip to Australia.

"They are here as part of a program whereby we get to know schools in China," he said.

"We have eight children in total, six from Beijing, one from Shanghai and one from Pingdingshan.

"In the long term, there might be a VCE [program]set up in China, but it is early days and the parents are here today as well to see the sights locally."

The students and their families were in Victoria for two weeks where they were hosted by the school.

"They've been out to visit a farm. They had a swimming lesson and they went to Healesville and Tarra Bulga," Mr McNabb said.

"They are learning about Australian animals and we focussed on the children's classic book Wombat Stew.

"I think they're having a good time."

Mr McNabb said that because the students were so young, their English was limited but a number of St Paul's students could speak Mandarin and had helped out as interpreters while the Chinese students were around.

"There were four students in prep and they've been given some English names.

"And we have two students in year 2 and two students in year 3.

"It's the first time we've had such young exchange students." 

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