EXPENSIVE AUCTION: Chris Greaves, 13, and Billy Brown, 12, show off the Indonesian play money they used in the Evans River School auction.
EXPENSIVE AUCTION: Chris Greaves, 13, and Billy Brown, 12, show off the Indonesian play money they used in the Evans River School auction.

Indonesia in the local classroom

BILLY Brown, 12, had just bought a chocolate bar for 200,000 Indonesian rupees which, when worked back, had actually cost $20AUD.

The Year 8 student from Evans River School hadn't been ripped off, however, as it was only play money - but he probably got carried away bidding on the sweet delicacy in his Indonesian class.

His teacher Desiree Cotten was teaching her language class the value of the rupee and how to bid for items using Indonesian numbers.

"Aside from Mullumbimby High School we are the only school that teaches the Indonesian language as an elective on the Northern Rivers," she said.

"The school has been doing that for over 10 years."

Prime Minister Julia Gillard's white paper, Australia in the Asian Century, will see Asian languages and cultural exchanges taking a prominent place in Australian schools.

That will be nothing new for Evans River students who recently hosted 17 students and three teachers from the Sman Negeri 1 Tangerang School in Jakarta as part of a sister school exchange program.

The visitors were billeted out to local students and teachers and during their stay visited Dreamworld, tasted Vegemite sandwiches and Tim Tams, and enjoyed a barbecue and a social dance that had a Halloween theme.

"It was odd speaking to them as they talk a different language but they taught me how to say 'how are you?'," Jack Richardson, 13, said.

"They wanted to do stuff for you, even pushing the trolley when we went shopping in IGA," Bianca Phillips, 16, laughed.

All the students agreed the experience was a great one and they loved learning from people from such a different culture.



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