Student Swap is an educational and teen based observational documentary program, highlighting a student’s life in unfamiliar surroundings.
In an education exchange program four teenage students from China will travel to Australia and spend time in a Sydney High School while four teenage students from Australia will travel to China and spend time in a Beijing High School. Students are aged between 15 – 17 years.
The program documents their stay in 3 areas; their new school life, their new home life, and their new social life.
Students are presented in pairs from each country and selected for their similar passion for a certain field of study. This includes sport, performing arts, visual arts and language.
Upon arrival into their new home, students are presented with a mission on their Student Swap tablet. They must complete the mission before the end of their stay. We observe and compare the students pursuing the same area of interest while combating cultural differences, language barriers and unfamiliar surroundings, along the way to successfully completing their missions.
To help them understand the meaning of their missions students venture out of the city on field trips. Two Chinese visit Uluru where they learn the stories associated with this 700 million year old monolith, learn and practice Aboriginal Dot Art using colours from the natural substances of the earth and take part in an indigenous dance workshop. The other two Chinese students visit the Blue Mountains and learn the true meaning of Australian mateship while camping out with fellow students.
In China, two Australian students visit Xishuangbanna in the Yunan province, where they take part in the annual Water Splashing Festival of the Dai ethnic minority to see out the old year and cleanse in the new year of the Dai calendar. The other two visit the Sichuan province where they come face to face with the giant panda’s of Chengdu and climb to the top of the somewhat larger face of the 71 metre Leshan Giant Buddah which was carved out of stone from 713 to 803.
With all this new history, culture and experiences under their belts, the students complete successful missions. Then, surrounded by their new found friends, their new teachers & mentors and their new loving families, the students say goodbye in a sad and tearful farewell. Some claiming they now have a second family across the other side of the world, others claiming they will be back, but all claiming it was a life changing experience.