Around 120 students from Victorian schools will broaden their horizons and their world view when they embark on an overseas learning trip of a lifetime.
Education Minister Martin Dixon today farewelled the students and 26 teachers who are participating in the 2012 Overseas Learning Experience program.
They will head to destinations including China, Italy, Tonga and Japan from next month.
"This program is a fantastic way for students who have never travelled overseas before to immerse themselves in another culture, gain an insight into different cultural traditions, learn a new language and share this learning when they return to their own schools," Mr Dixon said.
"This will be an eye-opening experience, particularly for students in some of our remote schools who will experience first-hand some of the concepts they have covered in class and share this with their peers."
Mr Dixon said it was more important than ever to equip students with the intercultural skills they will need to prosper in today's global world.
Participating schools will undertake a range of projects, including Chaffey Secondary College students who will investigate a social responsibility partnership with the Ethnic Council and communities in Tonga.
"The benefits of the overseas experience will be widespread as these students will develop action plans based on their observations and learning and share this with their schools and communities," Mr Dixon said.
The 2012 Overseas Learning Experience program complements a range of Victorian Coalition Government initiatives to promote international perspectives, including a commitment that all government school students from Prep to Year 10 will be learning a language by 2025, starting with Preps in 2015, and strengthening sister school relationships.