They played football and even took part in some beauty sessions.
But the 96 or so students from refugee backgrounds also learned about things that really matter, during the 15th running of the Illawarra Multicultural Youth Conference on Friday.
Multicultural Communities Council of Illawarra youth and community manager Allyson Pazos said the event at Five Islands Secondary College in Port Kembla aimed to address the needs as well as skills and learning gaps of the newly arrived students.
Since 2005 students from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds have come together for the annual conference to explore themes of social inclusion, settlement, identity and community.
"It was no different today," she said.
"This is probably the only event of its kind that let's these young people get together and really learn and enjoy each others' company.
"The kids seemed happy and engaged. It's been a great day so far."
The students participated in four workshops which addressed topics such as making effective choices for the future and being safe in cyberspace.
New in 2019 was a Mini Expo which allowed students to connect with local support organisations such as Strategic Community Assistance for Refugee Families (SCARF), headspace Wollongong and the NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS).
"The conference is an exciting opportunity for students to learn more about key aspects of life in Australia that aren't necessarily covered by the curriculum," added Cameron Ling, the refugee support Leader (Illawarra) with the Department of Education.
"It's quite unique in that almost all migrant and refugee students in Years 9 and 10 who have settled in the Illawarra in recent years come together for this event."
The seven participating high schools were Corrimal, Figtree, Keira, Wollongong, Illawarra Sport and both Warrawong HS and its IEC.
Led by MCCI, the September 13 conference was supported by the NSW Department of Education, Port Kembla Youth Project, Wollongong City Council and Wollongong Youth Services.
Five Islands Secondary College, Port Kembla Youth Project, Relationships Australia Illawarra Centre, NSW Health, Illawarra Multicultural Services (IMS) and Football South Coast also played a part in the successful conference.