Supporting Our International Students Through a Global Pandemic 

The Kincoppal-Rose Bay boarding experience is about creating a home away from home for our rural and international students. Each student is unique, so we provide a personalised care model and opportunities to allow each one to thrive socially, academically, and emotionally.  

The COVID-19 pandemic has created many challenging situations for our boarders, especially international students who faced national border restrictions. During this time, KRB  prioritised the care of our international students by keeping the boarding houses open and staffed, to support them in a safe and secure environment. 

In 2020, when our school was closed due to COVID-19, KRB organised private accommodation for international students in the Meriton apartments in Bondi Junction where the Deputy Principal also stayed to support them through this period. The school nurse provided private daily health checks for each student and our school chef provided the girl’s favourite meals such as congee, chicken wings, sticky rice and dumplings. This was to ensure they had full access to healthy meals and to order to maintain similarities to life on campus. 

Every student had access to safe travel to friends and family during each break or lockdown period. The boarding houses remained open and available to those students who preferred to stay on campus and KRB boarding staff members were rostered on to ensure the safety of each student and to offer support and care.  

As every student’s situation has been unique, KRB has remained committed to offering individual support, with some students returning overseas and completing their schooling via distance education. One of our students has shown great determination and strength by completing her Year 11 coursework from China, through the KRB remote learning platform.  

This time has been especially challenging for our Year 12 cohort of 2020 and 2021, as their exam and assessment requirements were changed with little notice. Our students have remained positive and determined through these changes to excel and show their agility to pivot and achieve in a difficult time. As well, they have supported each other during what has been a very different final year of school, than they would have envisaged. 

Celebrating our students and their successes has been extremely important to us. To celebrate the final day of our Year 12 students, we held a virtual celebration where lunch packs were sent to each student, including those who were locked down in other states in Australia. We also had lunch while sharing videos of the students, reflecting on their time at KRB.  

The boarding community also celebrated our international students by holding different cultural events such as Lunar New Year, where we shared different food and celebrated as a community. International families were able to send messages featured in these events. Families were also given the opportunity to attend school events throughout the entire lockdown virtually so they could remain connected to our school community and experience their children’s successes. 

We are so proud of the way our international students have shown such emotional maturity during this global pandemic. We remain vigilant to support current and future students reach their full potential here at KRB, in their home away from home.