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By Lauren Hichaaba
PDMA for the AUL Province

       Melbourne, Australia, 1 June 2023 -- During the month of May a group of teachers and educators from Salesian schools around Australia travelled to Samoa for a Salesian Education Immersion. The main goal of the immersion was to give Australian teachers an experience of Samoa, particularly the education system. A long-term goal was to cultivate and depth relationships between our Australian and Samoan schools.

       This was the first time a program like this took place and those from Australia and Samoa enjoyed it immensely. A key component of the program was for the Australian teachers to stay with Samoan teachers in their homes. This was a beautiful experience where they could really get to know each other.

       The 2023 Samoa education immersion was overwhelmingly a positive experience. The homestay experiences were wonderful and are a highlight of the program. I knew that this experience would have a significant impact on the lives of the participants, but during a final debrief session they all spoke of the fact it had been “life-changing” for them and had fundamentally altered the way they look at the world. This impact has exceeded expectations of what we were hoping it would achieve.

       Kalinda Knight, a teacher from St. John Bosco College in Perth reflects on the experience: “There were so many highlights of this immersion experience. Firstly, the opportunity to connect with Salesian Teachers from around Australia and Samoa was enriching and rewarding. These connections are invaluable and are ones that I will cherish forever. We are definitely keeping the Salesian spirit alive! The immersion experience itself, to fully immerse oneself into another culture was challenging but also rewarding at the same time. I was blown away by the Samoan culture and the genuine love and beauty displayed by the Samoan people. They truly are the most generous, selfless and happy people. They definitely remind us of what is important in life and put things into perspective.”

       We look forward to many more education immersions to come and we sincerely thank our colleagues and Salesians in Samoa for such a warm welcome.


 

 

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