#Paju students resume study tour to #ToowoombaRegion, inject $110,000 in economy.
A high school touring party from #Paju in the Republic of Korea last month resumed its schedule of Sister City exchanges and injected an estimated $110,000 in the economy during their visit to the #ToowoombaRegion.
The 16 students and accompanying teacher were welcomed to the Region at a formal reception at #ToowoombaCityHall as part of their 21-day tour.
The visit marked the resumption of the popular cultural and educational exchange following a break due to Covid-19 restrictions.
The touring party was the 21st student group from Toowoomba’s Sister City of Paju to visit the Region since 2003. Almost 400 students have visited the Toowoomba Region through the program, in addition to three online programs with 40 participating students.
The latest visit further highlights the Region’s role as an education centre and its importance to the economy, with the latest economic data confirming the sector as the Region’s second largest employer. Education plays a pivotal role in the economic outcomes that are stipulated in the Sister City Agreement.
It is estimated that the recent study tour generated an economic benefit of more than $110,000 for the Region when tallying the University of Southern Queensland’s student fees, homestay fees and personal spending (and not counting extra spending generated during the students’ homestay activities).
Students must complete a competitive selection process in Paju to be eligible for the program. More than 70 students between 14 and 17 from high schools across Paju applied to be considered for the recent visit.
The successful students put their considerable English proficiency to an extensive test during lessons at the University of Southern Queensland.
Apart from the classroom lessons, they refined their conversational skills and cultural knowledge with their Toowoomba host families.
They gained an appreciation of Australian customs and life during an Indigenous culture lesson and visits to a wildlife rehabilitation centre, a farm close to the city and Tony’s Community Kitchen.
The tour was rounded out with a short stay at the Gold Coast.
Toowoomba and Paju signed a Sister City Economic Agreement on October 1, 2002.
Paju Sister City Agreement
• Agreement is based on commercial, business, cultural and education opportunities
• Paju is one hour from South Korea’s capital city, Seoul
• Population: 588,000
• Area: 672 km²
• 20th anniversary of relationship in October 2022
We thank #ToowoombaRegionCouncil for this media release.