A wonderful experience enjoying the benefits and privileges of living and learning in a different country – that’s how a party of young students from Thailand feel about their recent stay in Thanet.
The group from Bangkok are the latest to benefit from the pioneering project, run by Broadstairs English Centre with Chatham and Clarendon Grammar in Ramsgate, to give a deep insight into British education and culture.
Teacher Kittiwut Jarernram from Suankularbwittayalai School praised “the wonderful programme” delivered for the Thai students by BEC and highlighted the benefits of “joining a good English school.”
He said his young students from the boys’ secondary school, who stayed with host families and made school buddies with Chatham and Clarendon students, gained a huge amount from the experience.
It has energised his pupils’ ideas about living in a different country and embracing another culture and heritage. He added: “My students have built strong relationships with host families and friends they have made.”
Broadstairs English Centre directors Chris and Alex McDermott said the whole programme was a great success on many levels. They said: “We were so pleased to be working with Chatham and Clarendon Grammar School again, giving our first Thai group a unique immersive experience in a UK grammar school alongside their language course at Broadstairs English Centre.
“The students, teachers and agents thoroughly enjoyed their two-week immersion, taking part in all classes, sports, excursions and activities. The Chatham and Clarendon ‘buddies’ took their roles very seriously and ensured their new Thai friends settled in quickly and integrated well in all aspects of school life.
“The support from the school’s head teacher Debra Liddicoat and her staff was excellent, and we hope this partnership will continue, giving local students the chance to gain a valuable insight into people and cultures from all over the world.”
Andy Somers is the schools liaison officer for the immersion project working for BEC. He said: “The importance of this project cannot be underestimated. It has extremely positive and long-lasting benefits. It broadens the life and learning experiences of all involved.
“The Thai boys gained so much personal and educational development from their stay. They flourished and gained confidence day by day.
“International students are very keen to experience our education system and the opportunities offered by Broadstairs English Centre and Chatham and Clarendon Grammar has delivered so much.”
The boys kept journals during their stay and at the end of the visit Mr Somers judged the works and handed out small gifts for the best diaries in a range of categories.
Mrs Liddicoat told how a parent enthused to her about the whole experience for the students as a fabulous opportunity, and added that her son was really enthusiastic about learning about Thailand and its culture.
She added: “Our students were so excited to be buddying Thai students and having them in their lessons learning alongside them. Learning from their buddies about Thai culture made our students want to find out more about Thailand, so it was a two way learning experience.”