All posts by Nick Shepherd

The Real Schoolies

What is the Real Schoolies program?

A program coordinated by Wagga Rotary clubs in partnership with Hike Himalaya Adventure Pvt. Ltd.

Your Nepal Schoolies Adventure is a two week tour in which you’ll get to take part in a truly life changing experience. From the breath-taking snowy peaks of the Himalayas to the tropical jungles of the Chitwan National Park, your schoolies tour will take you on an adventure you’ll never forget. Not only will you get to see life unfold in the Himalaya but you’ll also be changing the lives of the local people as well.

As a Himalayan schoolie, you’ll meet children in an underprivileged school and change their lives for the better. Whether you’re building new classrooms, painting, teaching English or just playing a few games, this volunteer experience will equip you with the skills to become a leader of tomorrow.

Pre-departure Program and Requirements

The EOI process will open in November. This will include a non-refundable deposit of $150. Following an interview process final applications will be processed.

The successful applicants will become part of the Schoolies Group 2020. In the lead up to the trip, The Schoolies Group will be once a month. The purpose of this is

  • Build relationships within the group and with the mentors who will accompany the Schoolies (team building exercises will be included)
  • Plan and implement fundraising opportunities to donate to the school/village, and possibly reduce costs of travel.
  • Discuss code of conduct, packing, medical requirements, expectations, dates, etc.

The first and last meeting will be with Schoolies and their parents. We will communicate with families and encourage students to pass on information to encourage independence and responsibility.

Health and Safety –

  • Code of conduct applies.
  • Australian standard Medical/ first aid kit is carried with the team daily.
  • Travel insurance compulsory
  • Vaccination and Immunisation requirements to be advised.
  • Smart traveller submission included in preparation procedure
  • (From Hike Himalaya Adventures pvt. Ltd) Nepal is a very safe country and as we have developed long term relationships with contacts in Nepal which are our tour guides, trekking guides and porters we are constantly updated on the political and economic situation of the country. We stay in the very best and safest accommodation in Nepal which has outstanding views on trip advisers as well as previous teams and clients recommendations. As we are taking a team over this reduces the risk of anything happening due to safety in numbers. Everywhere we travel is in private luxury vehicles. Insurance is included in the price and is great value covering all activates which are undertaken from vehicle transport to luggage. All our leaders are highly experienced with young people and are there to ensure you are safe. We are an Australian based company who continuously monitors and provides updates while over there and throughout the year leading up to the trip as well.

Leadership and Communication –

  • The Schoolies Group will be accompanied by expert guides from Hike Himalaya Adventure pvt. Ltd.
  • Two mentors from Australia will accompany the schoolies. These mentors receive training in leadership and working with young people. The pre-departure program that runs throughout 2020 is designed to build relationships between mentors and schoolies.
  • The coordinator will remain in Australia and liaise with, and between, the schoolies group, Hike Himalaya guides, and families.

Cost and Inclusions

We are aware that the cost of travel can be a barrier to young people. To help with the cost schoolies can fundraise, with the support of Rotary Clubs in Wagga Wagga. There is a payment plan available, or alternatively an early bird upfront discount. Price includes flights, accommodation, all meals, transport, visas, transfers, water, porter and guides.

The cost for the all-inclusive program are: $3,850

An early bird prove is available to registrations paid before March 2020: $3,599

There is a payment plan to be confirmed by November 2019.

More information is available https://himalayanschoolies.com/parents-schoolies/

You are welcome to contact Geraldine Rurenga who is the Wagga Coordinator Geraldine.rurenga@gmail.com

George returns from Europe with a new perspective

Our guest speaker for last weeks meeting, George Holt is Head of Department, Information Technology, TAFE NSW Riverina Institute.

George Holt
George Holt

In 2015 George won a 2015 Premier’s TAFE Scholarship, and in April/May 2016 he travelled to Europe for a five week study tour of Finland and Austria gaining many new insights into education. In his words “he had the best time”.

The study tour included introductions, campus tours and conversations that helped George to better understand the Finnish and Austrian vocational educational systems.

He found that both Finland and Austria have incredibly professional systems where students receive excellent support from their teachers to prepare them for their careers. He was also very impressed by the partnerships between the business sector and campuses to ensure that students have the skills and knowledge to be successful.

As George said ”Study tours and exchange programs are a brilliant opportunity to open your eyes and see your own organisations strengths and weaknesses. This provides an opportunity to focus on positive steps to move forward. As I reflect back on my own experiences I can see steps that could make a huge improvement in the Australian VET sector.”