STEP Homestay, Singapore
2 months ago, we bade farewell to our Thailand friends from Rayongwittayakom (RYW) School and in a blink of an eye, they arrived in Singapore to visit our school on 13th January. A simple welcome tea was held at the conference room to give them an overview of their stay in Singapore.
The next day, the lion dance troupe ushered them into the hall where the Year 2s and 3s gave them a rousing welcome of applause. Our Chinese Orchestra also put up an exciting performance to introduce oriental music to our guests. Our STEP participants then pinned the school badge onto their buddies’ uniform to signify that they are now part of the Dunman High family.
Our Student Council members also gave them a brief introduction about Singapore and introduced them to our Dunman High culture and lifestyle. Our STEP participants played host by bringing their buddies on a school tour. They also had a taste of Chinese calligraphy which was taught by Mr Tan Tui Gee.
Throughout their short stay in Singapore, RYW students had a chance to observe classroom lessons and visit our local attractions such as Singapore Flyer, Marina Barrage, Night Safari and Universal Studios Singapore to learn more about Singapore. Dunmanians took the opportunity to introduce the local delights to their buddies through a mini food trail.
Soon it was our farewell party and our Principal Dr Foo Suan Fong, Vice-Principals Mrs Dayna Chia and Mr Kevin Gan, parents and family members of each host family came to render their support for this programme. Wushu and Symphonic Band put up performances to allow the Thais to experience a bit of the Eastern and Western culture. Gerryl Pay from 3A, Lee Jin Yang and Ruth Ng from 4B put up an upbeat rap and beatbox tune to the song “Stereo Hearts”. Both Dunman High and RYW students put up exciting performances to showcase their talents. Dr Foo also gave out certificates of participation to our STEP participants and buddies. The night ended on a high note where everyone danced to the favourite song “Loy Krathong”. It was a great opportunity to thank the participants for their contribution and support throughout this period.
STEP was an excellent platform to promote international friendship and culture. Furthermore, students from both countries learnt about hospitality and how to step out of their comfort zone to make their buddy feel welcome. This departure is not permanent; we look forward to meeting them once again!
An excerpt from 14Y3F Ding Jaye’s farewell speech
“This programme has been an eye opener for me and all the Singapore participants. We have learnt so much about the Thai culture, the Thai language, their way of life and most importantly have forged many strong bonds with our buddies and their families. All of us have not only enjoyed the programme as it was fun, exciting and fulfilling, but we have also learnt so much more beyond what can be taught in the classroom.
I hope that all our buddies have enjoyed and benefited from this second part of STEP programme as much as we had when we were in Thailand about one month ago. I also hope that you have enjoyed our hospitality and slept well in beds that may be different from yours back in Thailand. Please forgive us if we have overlooked any small areas and sorry that we don’t have night markets that open as late as those in Thailand.
As we come to the last few days of our buddies’ stay in Singapore, on behalf of all Dunman High’s participants, I would like to thank Rayongwittayakom School for providing us with this amazing opportunity. I would also like to thank our principal, alumni, all our teachers, parents, friends and everyone who has contributed in one way or another to the STEP programme.
Last but not least, I would like to wish our buddies all the best in their future endeavour and may our friendship be everlasting. Take care till we meet again. Khob khun ka”