6 March 2013
Rotorua Intermediate School (RIS) has been awarded the inaugural 2012 Geyser Community Foundation Rotorua District Council Sister Cities Scholarship.
Forty-nine of the school's Year 8 students are travelling to China in September 2013, where the 12 and 13 year old students will make contact with Jiangning High School.
Rotorua District Council (RDC) has a Friendship Agreement with Nanjing City in Jiangning District.
RIS teacher Stephanie Chand said the students will have the opportunity to experience real life learning of the culture and language of China to support their classroom learning.
“All of the students who are travelling have been studying Chinese for at least one year, with the majority having studied the language for over three years while attending their previous primary schools.
“The students are also having extension Chinese language lessons to prepare for this educational trip and the supervising adults travelling with them are doing evening classes as well.
“Rotorua Intermediate School is very committed to this wonderful educational opportunity for our students and our visit will also strengthen Rotorua’s relationship with Nanjing.”
RDC set up the scholarship with the Geyser Community Foundation in 2011. The annual scholarship is awarded to an individual or group of young people making contact with an RDC Sister City or a city with which Rotorua District has a formal Friendship Agreement.
Mayor Kevin Winters said Rotorua’s links with Nanjing are multifaceted and have gone from strength-to-strength over recent years.
“It’s our view that direct people-to-people contact between residents underpins the economic and cultural potential of our city-to-city relationships.
“Nowhere is this more evident than when young people of two very different communities are able to come together to share their cultures, language and life experiences.
“We are pleased that this scholarship helps make that possible.”
Geyser Community Foundation executive officer Annette Burgess the value of the inaugural scholarship was $1,000 and the scholarship must be used for cultural or educational purposes.
Applicants must be aged between 11 and 18 years as at 1 January 2012, and currently reside in and be attending a school in the Rotorua District.
Applications for this year’s scholarship will open on 1 July 2013.