Over recent years, Brigidine College has strategically engaged in Global Connections with schools in Japan, Noumea and exchange programs in Europe and the USA. The opportunities for students to travel and immerse themselves in different cultures can be life changing.
Brigidine College regularly hosts and engages with students from two Japanese schools and a school in Noumea. On my recent trip to Japan with Mrs Yoshiko Steven, we were able to reconfirm our expanding connections with Otsuma Tama Women’s University Junior and Senior High School. We are currently hosting two girls from Otsuma Tama and will welcome 102 students, teachers and the Principal Mrs Mariko Tanibayashi later in July 2017. Two Brigidine students will later visit Japan, with a larger group following next year.
Following initial visits in 2016 and 2017, Brigidine College has also entered in a second Sister School Agreement with Kamakura Women’s University Junior and Senior High School. Following our meeting on 15th February 2018, the Principal Mr Shohei Shima and myself signed our agreement in a formal ceremony at the school.
When reflecting on these visits, I was struck by the importance and outstanding commitment there is to engage with Brigidine College. Not only are the similarities with our motto of Strength and Gentleness, they share our vision of being global citizens for their students. To be independent, well educated, gentle – to keep your ideals high and work step-by-step to achieve outcomes, were prevalent in both schools.
The Principal from Otsuma Tama is a very warm and friendly woman who is looking to expand our ongoing connection. Kamakura have identified Brigidine College as their first international school and are looking forward to a long and prosperous relationship. These schools share with us the desire to nurture global citizens, where learnings are shared and where explorations of culture expand opportunities for growth and engagement.
To witness Brigid’s Cross in ceremonies that celebrate the role of education for young women is very humbling. So just as Brigid’s Cross points to the four corners of the world, girl at Brigidine learn about cultural, social and spiritual places and then experience how these features can impact on minds and souls.
The girls from both schools are excited about our connections and their school communities are placing great importance and resources to the ongoing success of these programs. With the tremendous assistance of Mrs Yoshiko Steven and the Languages Department, these exchange programs enrich the learning journey for many girls, as well as provide opportunities for hospitality and inclusion.
We look forward to long and prosperous connections with our schools in Japan and Noumea.