Chinese students honorary Aussies
IMAGINE being nine or 10 years old and in a strange country where the people speak a different language and follow different customs, and worst of all ? your parents aren't with you.
Of course there would be times of excitement and fun, but for many there would be crying for mum or dad and feelings of homesickness.
Not so for the group of young Hong Kong students who took the plunge into regional Australian culture when they last week flew into Coffs Harbour for a 22-day visit.
The second group of primary age students to visit the city through the Coffs Harbour Education Campus's English Language Centre, they will spend most of their time at Coffs Harbour Public School.
"It's amazing how well they have mixed in with our students. There has been no mention of homesickness and they all appear to be having a great time," school librarian Lyn Howlin said.
"Coming from Hong Kong they are very independent, and it also helps that they knew some English before arriving."
Each morning they will have English lessons and learn about all things Australian, followed by attending normal classes with their student buddies.
"It's a great experience for both the visitors and the Coffs Harbour Public students. They are learning so much from each other," Ms Howlin said.
Afternoons have been set aside to visit some of the local attractions such as the Pet Porpoise Pool and Coffs Harbour Zoo.
They are being hosted by local families who will immerse them in the Aussie way of life over the Easter break.