Japanese exchange program
Check back here for 2013 dates.
The AEU and the Shizuoka Teachers' Union run an annual exchange program that offers teachers an excellent opportunity to exchange ideas and information about education and to experience each other's culture.
Japanese visitors generally visit Victoria during Term 2, including a two-night stay with AEU members in the Bendigo/Castlemaine area and visiting their schools. The return visit by AEU members to Shizuoka takes place during Term 3 school holidays.
It is not necessary to host visitors from Shizuoka in order to take part in the return visit to Japan.
Expressions of interest are invited from AEU members to host our Japanese guests and/or to make the return trip to Japan. No Japanese language is required. Hosts in Victoria receive $200 towards expenses.
The Education Department recognises this program as PD and members' costs associated with the study tour are tax deductible.
You can see pictures from the AEU's most recent visit to Japan below and in our Flickr stream here.
To find out more, email Lee-Anne Poynton at the AEU or call her on (03) 9418 4874.
What participants say
For a first time overseas traveller, this was a fantastic way to begin. You don't have to worry about anything as it is all taken care of and you get to explore another culture with a group of friendly, like-minded people! Actually you get three holidays in one — sightseeing, a look at education in another country and a grass-roots look at family life through the home stay visit; something you can't get on any other tour. Enlightening, enjoyable and stress free! — Dianne Le Marshall
Each member of the exchange party was assigned to a Japanese host family for a three-night stay. My host family consisted of an English teacher at a local junior high school, his wife and two daughters. He took me to his school for my experience. All members of the party made comment about how hospitable their hosts were. It was a great hands-on way to learn about the Japanese culture. Parting with my host family was a very sad time — they are now my close friends and I will continue to communicate with them and hopefully, one day, meet again. — Peter Walker
Was Japan just about the friendliest, best mannered, most helpful and safest country any of us has ever visited? Every day was a delight in this country full of contradictions. Textiles, ceramics and architecture reflecting centuries of history in their refinement and beauty, and then the Shinkansen (bullet trains) — also beautiful and sleek, but high, high tech. However, there were almost no computers for students in schools! Another extreme was the toilets – from squats to some which, when you opened the door, lights flashed, the seat lifted and music played. Sit down and there was an instant flushing sound to cover the sound of any other, undesirable noises! Midnight Cowboy, eat your heart out. — Elizabeth Healy
More pictures on the AEU's flickr page.
Download a feature from AEU News about the exchange program between the AEU and Shizuoka Teachers Union (PDF 183.30 KB).» more...