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Cultural Immersion Programs for School Students Help Develop Life Skills


Victoria, Australia November, 2012 – One of the most difficult decisions parents make is the choice of schools for their children. Research has revealed that parents seem to put a premium on a school’s ability to develop not just educational, but also life skills, in their children. A 2011 survey conducted among 2000 parents in Queensland disclosed three key factors that influence the parent’s decisions about their children’s education: “preparing students for life, good discipline and encouraging responsible attitude*.” The Good Schools Guide also shared the results of a study on what parents are looking for from secondary schools, finding that a school which promotes an “atmosphere that will encourage their child’s intellectual and emotional growth,” is preferred**.
For Australian schools looking to develop students’ life skills, it can sometimes be difficult to find the time or money between what the curriculum requires and the strict budgets that each school must negotiate. However, cultural immersion programs for school students do not necessarily need to be offered or managed by the schools – instead they could simply partner with other organisations who have experience in the field and can manage everything, making it easier and cost effective for the school to provide the life education programs parents desire.
Destination Dreaming is a non-profit education organisation based in Victoria, Australia.  They partner schools in Australia with communities throughout Asia Pacific, to help young people acquire life skills through realistic and practical social education programs for school students. Young people who participate in these programs get the opportunity to develop life skills through experiential, interactive and collaborative learning methods.  Born out of a dream to start a school in rural Fiji and teach life skills outside the generic four walls of the classroom, Destination Dreaming now has a team of people who are all passionate about helping young people acquire life skills and enabling them to become resilient, self-aware and empathetic.
Destination Dreaming runs 10-14 day Global Service Learning Programs for school students. These programs are described as sharing “real education about life itself”, because the activities and methodologies develop students’ life skills and prepare them, not just for school, but for life.
Carl of Caloundra State High School joined an Intercultural Learning program in Fiji. He highly recommends the program and says that the “experience will change the way you view the world”. Bec of United Nations Youth Australia went to Timor Leste and shared that the adventure “re-shaped [her] perspective on the world”.

Jessica of Stuartholme School also went to Timor Leste and said the program “had been truly invaluable. The relationships I’ve established in communities that accepted and welcomed us wholeheartedly have been life-changing and enabled me to believe in myself and my dreams.” For them, and for hundreds of others, the program was, indeed, an education on life skills and something that many Australian schools couldn’t offer (despite the demand from parents) without the expert assistance of not-for-profit Destination Dreaming.
To find out more about how these cultural immersion programs for school students are helping them to develop life skills, visit


 Develop life skills
 Develop students’ skills
 Social education programs
 Cultural immersion
 Global service learning

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