A Sneak Peek of My Workplacement and Homestay in South Australia
Australia-Indonesia Youth Exchange Program (AIYEP) is a program focused on promoting mutual understanding through people to people contact. It provides platforms for youths to experience and get involved in the community in order to learn valuable cultures and strengthen the friendship between two countries, Indonesia and Australia. some of those platforms are workplacement and homestay.
I chose to have a workplacement in primary school. One of many reasons I chose primary level was that I love to learn about how teacher educate children in early stage to form the children behavior in next level. And here, I was placed in Lenswood Primary school.
Lenswood Primary School was relatively a small school situated in a beautiful Adelaide hills and was surrounded by orchards and vineyards. The first day to undergo the internship in this school was an unforgettable experience in my life since it was the first time for me to see and be directly involved in the Australian education process.
Many unique things that I found during my internship in this place. For instance, every morning the teachers would come earlier than the students. They stand in front of the school to welcome students and greet the parents while having light conversation. Lenswood has a tradition of excellent parental and community involvement in the school. the students, parents staff and wider community value the school highly. I think such activity build a good relationship between teachers and parents to work together to achieve learning goals.
In this school, I also saw how teachers educated students assertively to be disciplined, independent and polite. If students made mistake, they would be reprimanded by teacher or they had to do community service such as looking after the garden without the need of giving corporal punishment. In addition, students were also involved in looking after the native and vegetable gardens they planted and used the vegetables in cooking sessions. Pupils were also taught to tidy up the equipment they used with their own and the teacher just observed. On every Monday, the school also had SRC (student representative council) where they discussed about various problems occurring at school to be solved together in order to give better changes. It is the programs to enhance students’ leadership skill and move them into responsible adolescence.
Here I got a chance to be assistant teacher in almost all subjects and all year students. I was also trusted to Introduce Indonesia by giving presentation about Indonesia, teaching Indonesian Language and also teaching some traditional dances from Indonesia such as Saman dance. I saw the students are very interested and enthusiastic to learn Indonesian culture. It was proven by the survey of students that picked up Bahasa Indonesia as the language taught besides Chinese next year.
As the main goal of this program is to promote cross-cultural understanding between Australia and Indonesia through people to people contact, I also got the chance to experience homestay in Australia. Through hostfamily I learned and looked closer each other’s culture in terms of food, lifestyle, values, customs and languages in daily life. At same time, my hostparents also learn about my culture as an Indonesian and a muslim. During my homestay, I had chance to introduce Indonesian cooking to my hostparents and discuss a lot of things about Indonesian issues and also islam which is massively debated nowdays. Besides,my hostparents also taught me abut quilting and sewing techniques. I spent my weekend and time after school working with new hobby. I found it really fun to play with the pattern and produce something like blanket from quilting.
It was a blessing to have a chance to take a part in this program in which I got a lot of valuable knowledge which was very propitious to be applied in my community once I headed back to Indonesia.
Oleh: Raudhatul Jannah (AIYEP 2016/2017)