On 10th April 2018, the Adelaide International School delegation, Managing Director Don Chen, Director of Secondary Education Steve Eden, Linguistics Researcher Dr. Peter Mickan and his wife Gillian Mickan, Manager of Student Guardianship Services Gabi Zhao and Primary Teacher Alyce Ahl arrived in Shanghai.

During our visit we officially launched the Adelaide Independent Schools Alliance (AISA), a collaboration of premier non-government schools in Adelaide that are working together to provide a holistic approach to international student education.

Several Alliance schools representatives including Ms Gina Kadis from St George College, Ms Rosie Broderick from Wilderness School, Mr Patrick Kelly from Blackfriars Priory School and Mr Guanye Qu from University Senior College joined us in Shanghai.

There was a great turn out for the agent workshop on day one of the launch. Interest levels were high, and agents felt positive in their responses to the AISA model, designed to attract students to Adelaide with a broad range of opportunities and different pathways to suit individual student needs.

Further to the descriptions of the educational experience offered by AISA, the seminar included presentations on the English Language Proficiency Test (EPET) and Student Guardianship Services (SGS)

The EPET is a new test designed by the team at Adelaide International School that has been trialled successfully at Greentown Yuhua School with Year 7 students. The test provides a detailed analysis of students’ English language skills. Greentown Yuhua School were so impressed with the quality of the test that they will be using it on three separate occasions this year to assess their students’ English levels. They will use the results to make recommendations about students’ educational pathways. EPET gives a personalised and reliable assessment for AISA to make informed decisions about pathways that will ensure success for our international students.

SGS adds another element to the AISA model in providing holistic care for international students who have chosen to study in Adelaide. SGS specialises in the welfare of students under the age of 18. It provides a central unit to manage communication with students’ families and carers to provide a strong network to support student success while studying abroad.

On the second day of the launch we had a school expo for interested parents and students. We talked about the city of Adelaide in South Australia as an attractive place for study, and described the outstanding education programs offered by the Alliance schools. It was inspiring to see parents of children as young as three years old considering Adelaide as a safe and nurturing location to invest in their child’s future education. We also welcomed back some familiar faces of students who had come to Adelaide for a short-term study experience. They are making plans for a longer-term commitment to education in Adelaide

For the remainder of our trip, we had the privilege of visiting a number of prestigious schools across several major cities of China including:

  • Minhang Foreign Language School Attached to SISU
  • Shanghai United International School (Wanyuan Campus)
  • Zhangjiagang Foreign Language School
  • Suzhou Zhenhua Middle School
  • Wenzhou Yuying International Experimental School
  • Yueqing Yueqing Boarding School
  • Hangzhou Yuhai Foreign Language School
  • Hangzhou Yucai Middle School
  • Hangzhou Greentown Yuhua School
  • Greentown Qinqin School
  • Greentown Feicuicheng School
  • Hebei Yanjiao Yanlinglu Primary/Middle Schools

We were lucky enough to meet energetic and inspiring teachers preparing students to be confident and motivated global citizens. We would like to thank all the wonderful teachers who allowed us into their classrooms to observe their English lessons. Many teachers were interested in Dr Peter Mickan’s theory and practice of text-based teaching and we hope to see a number of these familiar faces taking part in the Graduate Diploma TESOL teacher development program with Dr Mickan in October this year.

Speaking to teachers sparked interest around the dilemmas we face teaching in the most productive and industrious way for students living in a changing world. Recognising common concerns and interests we set up the AIS Research Institute for teachers and researchers to work together to investigate teaching issues supported by Dr Peter Mickan and his research team.

We would like to thank the schools for being welcoming and gracious hosts. It was lovely to develop new relationships with schools we were visiting for the first time and continue the conversation with schools that we have been working in close partnership with over the years. We look forward to continuing our discussions, sharing ideas and working together to educate the young people shaping our future.