Internationalism at Westminster takes many forms. Not only do we have a significant number of international students choosing to study here at Westminster, but we also have Exchange programs and other projects, which promote the Round Square IDEAL of Internationalism. Having a clear understanding of the world around us is an absolute necessity these days and we keenly provides our students with a variety of opportunities to become truly global citizens.
Internationalism in its true form features in many aspects of what we do at Westminster. It is in our service projects, our exchange opportunities, language learning and in reality, given the multicultural nature of Australia, in our everyday interactions with each other.
Students at Westminster are taught to appreciate, value and respect all cultures, religions and languages. International conferences, student exchanges in Years 8 to 11, and GAP year opportunities are all a part of Round Square at Westminster School. Students can also take part in Round Square International Service Projects (RSIS) in Morocco and Borneo in 2019 and Madagascar in 2020. We as a School have been very active in both the Preparatory and Senior Schools with cultural, sport and musical exchanges. Westminster School also regularly sponsors students who are less fortunate, both in Australia and overseas, as well as supporting a number of members of our global community through the KIVA loan initiative.
Taken from the Round Square website (www.roundsquare.org)
‘The most powerful force in advocating and promoting international understanding is exposure to different cultures. Students from all nationalities are welcomed into each Round Square school.
Students are taught to appreciate, value and respect all cultures, religions and languages. They learn to see themselves as global citizens and are asked to look beyond gender, class, race, nationality and culture to understand human nature. Round Square Schools organize term-length exchanges among students, GAP students (who are pre-university, post-secondary) and faculty. Annually, delegations of students and staff gather at a member school to attend an international conference and learn about, and tackle, some of the most challenging world issues through presentation, discussion and debate.
A spirit of internationalism is found in those who seek to discover and embrace the similarities and differences between cultures and nationalities in ways that promote meaningful and lasting understanding, tolerance and respect. It encompasses an appreciation for the increasing inter-connectedness of the world, our greater dependence on the global economy and interdependence as nations as a result of massively increased commerce and cultural exchange.
The growth of digital communication across geographical borders and the sharing of each other's cultures through travel and trade is understood. There is an appreciation that national differences are lessening and a blending of cultures, traditions and cultural exchange is on the increase.
A person living out a spirit of internationalism respects the need to preserve and celebrate national identity, cultures, traditions and heritage. Opportunities are sought to connect with those from different countries and cultures, exchanging points of view and ideas across borders and developing international and intercultural understanding. These inform an appreciation of how others might view or think about a shared event such as a trade agreement, a partnership or a cultural exchange.
A spirit of internationalism also includes an understanding of the tension between increased wealth creation in developing countries and a continuing gap between the world’s poorest countries and the world's richest.’
Foodbank is a non-denominational, non-profit organisation which acts as a pantry to the charities and community groups who feed the hungry. It was first established in 1992 in NSW and now has a presence in every state and the Northern Territory, with distribution centres in all state capitals as well as a number of regional centres. It acts as a conduit between the food industry’s surplus food and the welfare sector’s need.
Last week, as a result of Westminster’s close link to Foodbank SA, four of our Round Square Student Committee members, Bronwyn Mahoney (Year 12 Clark), Alec Glynn (Year 11 Kelly), Amy Mohapatra (Year 11 Clark) and Jordan Nicolle (Year 11 Fereday) along with staff members Kate Ward and myself were invited to attend the Foodbank Fundraising ‘Women with Influence’ Luncheon. Foodbank SA holds this major fundraiser annually and each ticket purchased provides 50 meals for those in need. Over the course of the afternoon students listened to a panel of women speak about their experiences in the business world. A great opportunity for all involved and a wonderful way to show our continued support for such a great organisation.
For more information, please visit https://www.foodbanksa.org.au/
Although this term is often a relatively quiet one for Exchanges, due to many of the schools in the Northern Hemisphere winding up for the year, we still have several of our Westminster students who have expanded their horizons and are participating in an exchange during Term 2. Sebastian Young (Year 10 Dunstan) and Cooper Horton (Year 10 Carter) are already enjoying their time at Felsted in the UK and will return to Australian shores during July. Patrick Davison (Year 11 Jeffries) is thoroughly enjoying his experience in the USA, and will return to Adelaide in a couple of weeks. His exchange partner Adit, will also be joining us at Westminster towards the end of May. We hope he has a great experience here at Westminster.
Once again, enormous thanks must go to all of our host families and those staff in Boarding who take such good care of our Exchange students during their stays here in Adelaide. Without all of you we would not be able to provide our students with such a thriving Exchange program.
Students are notified regularly via email, SEQTA and the Daily Notices throughout the term to tell them about Exchange opportunities, and I am always keen to hear from anybody interested in being invovled. Hosting an exchange student means there is also a reciprocal agreement that our students are able to participate in an exchange, something that can greatly broaden their view of the world and enhance their understanding of the Round Square IDEAL of Internationalism.
Please contact me anytime if you are interested in participating in an exchange and/or hosting an exchange student.
For further information on Round Square, our initiatives, exchanges, or conferences, please contact me via Email.
Round Square and Exchanges Coordinator