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Students gain from rich experience.

Byline: Binsal Abdul Kader, Staff Reporter

Abu Dhabi: He wanted to try Boomerang outside his classroom, but his instructor said, being a weapon, it was illegal to use it outside in Australia.

"A teacher showed us, the way, Australian Aborigines threw the curved piece of wood [boomerang] and how it returned to its point of origin ", said Nasser Al Nachas, 16 an Emirati grade 11 pupil who was on 'Summer Abroad Programme' organised by Abu Dhabi Educational Council (ADEC).

He is among the 600 pupils who completed a six-week training programme to develop their English, IT, and leadership skills in locations across Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Boomerang and stories of aborigines were the a few things, he found as 'Australian' in that country. Another 'Australian thing', he noted, was his host family's commitment towards nature, as part of their tradition and culture.

Abdullah Al Hashemi, 16, a grade 11 pupil said he was fascinated to learn the history of Australian aborigines. The pupils said they are still in touch with their host families in Australia.

The pupils had the opportunity to practice their English conversational skills within their local communities abroad. The programme directly supports one of the key initiatives of ADEC's 10-Year Strategic Plan aimed at improving English proficiency of all students.

It was sponsored by a generous grant from General Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Education Council; and was further supported by Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, and Vice-Chairman of ADEC.

Dr Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Director General of ADEC said the cultural exchange went both ways. "Students told us that their host families and local communities were eager to learn about Emirati culture.

"We are glad that these students could act as ambassadors for our country and promote our heritage in other parts of the world," he said.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Aug 20, 2009
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