Wodonga Senior Secondary College multicultural peer support group visits Falls Creek

ANY school excursion out of the classroom is likely to be welcomed by students.

The chance for them to see and do things never experienced before is a bonus.

Twenty-six students from the Wodonga Senior Secondary College multicultural peer support group visited Falls Creek on Thursday.

Participants from a variety of backgrounds, including countries like China, Philippines, Thailand, Japan, Congo and Nepal, took part in the school’s fifth annual trip to the snowfields.

English as an additional language teacher Anthony Brewergray said the excursion helped build the students’ confidence in trying a new skill and gave them something to look forward to with excitement.

“Especially students who have just arrived in our country, we had two come in the past week,” he said.

The day also provided the students with a topic for future conversations with other Albury-Wodonga people who had been to Falls Creek too.

On a cloudy, cold day with reasonable visibility, the students received instructions on cross-country skiing.

“Students picked it up in varying degrees of abilities and levels, I suppose,” Mr Brewergray said.

“We had some real stars on the trip that were very, very competent on skis when they’d never done it before or seen snow before.”

Maythee Pingmueng, 18, who came to Beechworth from Thailand in March, said he enjoyed learning to ski for the first time.

Did you fall over much?

“Yep,” he said with a laugh.

Sophie Monga, 17, arrived from Congo only a week ago and is adjusting to her new school life.

With fellow student Colletta Mutuzaa, 21, as translator, Sophie said she had fun at the snow.

“I liked the way I was walking forward with the skis,” she said.

Colletta had gone on a previous snow trip but still found skiing hard.

“The day was very good, but it was freezing,” she said, smiling.

The YMCA, Falls Creek Coaches and Falls Creek Resort all supplied complimentary services or equipment while Falls Creek and Mount Beauty community members also donated gloves and ski goggles.

Mr Brewergray thanked all the supporters.

“The great thing about having students outside the classroom in an environment like Falls Creek, they’re a lot more open, willing to talk to each other and make connections with the local environment and area,” he said. “Everyone felt more encouraged to speak with others that they usually wouldn’t speak to and now they’ve made more friends. And it snowed as we packed up at the end of the day so the students had a ball, taking lots of photos on their phones.”​