Every second year, usually coinciding with the September/October spring break, Yarralumla Primary School conducts a School Community Trip to Italy. This is organised by the Italian Bilingual Program Coordinator on behalf of families who volunteer to spend a week of their European vacation in Bergamo - a picturesque, small town located at the base of the Alps in northern Italy.
Our school has established a Memorandum of Understanding with Bergamo's local primary school to enable students in our Bilingual Program to be billeted with Bergamo families. They attend the local school for five days to improve their oral and written Italian skills whilst their parents and/or younger siblings find their own accommodation for the week taking advantage of the beautiful scenery and tourist opportunities in the area.
This venture has become a popular event in the Yarralumla school calendar with many Yarralumla Primary families planning years ahead to take their children on their first trip to Italy. Once sufficient numbers of families have indicated interest (up to 12 months before the departure date), a Yarralumla parent is appointed as parent coordinator of the trip working closely with the school's Italian executive teacher to organise appropriate billets and an itinerary of activities during the billet week. Yarralumla Primary also encourages at least one or two of its own staff to attend the Bergamo school during the billet week to forge connections with the Italian staff and principal and to provide a familiar face to our students.
These trips have been highly successful as both an excellent opportunity for Yarralumla students to be immersed in an Italian language environment and also as an adventure for our families building strong connections and relationships with one another.
More information is available from Yarralumla Primary's Principal or Italian Bilingual Program Coordinator.
2018 School Community Trip to Italy
Several of our Yarralumla families along with maestre' Lawton, Sayers and Martiniello took part in the biennial Community Trip to Italy, with a week-long visit and stay at the small village of Scanzorosciate in the province of Bergamo.
During the week in early October, our Yarralumla students attend the local primary school (Istituto Comprensivo di Scanzorosciate) and are billeted with families, while their parents stay in nearby hotels. The experience is both thrilling and emotional with families and community coming together to welcome our families and students. Lifelong friendships are forged between our students and families and their host families and this generates a ripple effect among the community who would like to host more families next visit!