Community & Business

27 March, 2024

High school welcomes international students

THE Tablelands region has become a home away from home for two international exchange students, who have travelled across the world to learn more about Australia.

International exchange students Shiho Omori and Aline Borges have been studying at Atherton State High School.
International exchange students Shiho Omori and Aline Borges have been studying at Atherton State High School.

Shiho Omori, from Japan, and Aline Pereira Borges, from Brazil, have been attending Atherton State High School for the past few months as a part of the local school’s exchange program. 

Shiho said the main reason she wanted to exchange in Australia was to improve her English and explore a new and exciting part of the world. 

“I chose to study abroad in Australia because I am interested in nature and in Australia there is a lot of rare flora and fauna,” she said.

“The biggest difference between Atherton and my hometown is the agriculture and dairy farming. Japan does not have a lot of land for farming, so I find this region to be very interesting. 

“Seeing a cow is unusual for me, but it is very calming.”

One of Shiho’s favourite parts about the Tablelands so far is the waterfalls and rich natural surroundings, something she hadn’t seen at home in Japan. 

“My favourite part of this region is the nature. The waterfalls are very beautiful. This is a good place to get in touch with nature,” she said.

I have visited interesting places and learnt about agriculture, history and nature. I like to talk to my family and friends about my school.”

For Aline, experiencing a new way of learning is what she has enjoyed most about her exchange program, although she says it is “simply too hot”.

“I live in the south of Brazil in a metropolis. When I arrived here, the only thing I could think was ‘they locked me in an oven’,” she said. 

“Without a shadow of a doubt, the biggest difference between here and Brazil is the language. In Brazil we speak Portuguese, and honestly, English is so much easier.

“My favourite place in Atherton is the school library, silence and the books, is there anything better?

“I am enjoying being in Australia but the animals are a little scary. But Australians are very friendly people, it’s cool to talk to them in English.”

Atherton State High School is looking for people to open their homes to international exchange students. For more information, email 


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