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Welcome to our Australian Friends

This year a new tradition began for the International Student program, eleven Australian students from Mueller College in Rothwell, Queensland stayed with various host families and enjoyed a week in the life of PCA.

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This year a new tradition began for the International Student program, eleven Australian students from Mueller College in Rothwell, Queensland stayed with various host families and enjoyed a week in the life of PCA. During their visit, they shadowed a student. During their time in America, the Australian students also visited California and Tennessee.

PCA’s Director of Special Assignments, Mrs. Mary Carl Finkelstein, and Head of School Dr. Larry Taylor helped in the process of inviting the Australian students to visit. Mrs. Finkelstein said, “I didn’t find them, they found us. Their Head of School visited several Christian schools in the U.S. last year and felt a real connection to PCA and wanted his students to experience our school. He contacted Dr. Taylor at the end of the 2017-18 school year and requested permission to bring some students and asked if we could provide housing. I knew that most of the Australian students were Juniors and Seniors, so I chose students who were active in all different areas of our school so that the students would have a wide variety of activities to choose from.”

One of the visiting students, Junior Angus Allen, stayed with students Ashley and Reed Wilson and their family. Angus shared with students that back in Australia in his spare time he likes to rock climb, go to the gym and spend time with his twin and a younger brother. He hails from a town called Burpengary and has family in New Zealand as well. He enjoys regular holidays in exotic places such as Bali, Indonesia, and tropical North Queensland, Australia. When comparing Australia to America, Angus said, “The culture is very different, people’s mannerisms, the weather, cuisine, and everyday living.”

Junior Claire Ring hosted an Australian friend as well. Claire said, “Shaanan is very nice and I love hearing all about her life in Australia. She even brought me some Australian food and encouraged me to try Vegemite.” Shaanan said, “My favorite thing so far about America is all the different foods we don’t get in Australia, and the word “y’all” is so commonly used and sounds very Texan.” Shaanan also enjoys being a twin, spending time with her older brother and she attends the same school as Angus near the East Coast of Australia.

With the fun dynamics of having students from Australia visit for a week, International Students commented on how the welcoming culture of our community made them feel right at home. They expressed a desire to return in the future and both groups enjoyed learning about life across the ocean.

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