An interview with Ms. Gracy Wu
- Working in education business for more than seven years
- Working closely with international students at The Kilmore International school for seven years
Message to students:
I have been in the education industry for over eight years. All these times I have been interacting with overseas students under age of 18 and their parents. I started at The Kilmore International School as international student advisor, my role was to guide the new students to settle smoothly into the school.
On being a guardian
As a guardian you are a vital, central point of contact, an important person that liaises between school, student and their parents. I have come across many and various issues in the past eight years. I love to be involved with secondary school students and seeing them grow up and change is most encouraging.
Often I will select existing students that are responsible and caring and brief them how to look after the new students. My strategy to support these students includes:
- Briefing the teachers about their background in as much detail as possible
- Greeting them on their arrival
- Following up with them on their first day of school
- Ensuring they are able to contact their parents
- Checking if there is anything they need for living in the dorm
- Meeting them again at the end of the week and producing a brief update for the parents
- Taking a photo of them in uniform and sending it to their parents
- Checking their academic progress after two weeks and updating their parents
- Talking to their friends to identify if there is any issue that I have not been made aware of.
Main duties of being a guardian
The majority of the students will experience some homesickness for a period of time. It is important for us to observe them emotionally and physically to provide necessary support. Common issues that I often help students to resolve range from the change in diet to coping with the variable weather, and from everyday living to study issues. I also liaise with parents on a regular basis to inform them of the progress of their children. In addition, I actively attend school events and take photos of the students. Their parents are always very pleased to see their children either up on stage and doing something unexpected or outside their comfort zone.
I plan to continue this pastoral role for a long time–as long as I can offer help to overseas students. As their guardian, I have the confidence to earn their trust and make sure they settle down well in Australia. I will do my very best to make their high school life memorable and help them become a better person at the end of their overseas education journey.