Eye-open­ing ex­change

Benalla Ensign - - News -

FCJ Col­lege is host­ing 18 Ja­panese stu­dents and two teach­ers from their sis­ter school, Sa­cred Heart Col­lege in Tokyo.

The vis­i­tors, who ar­rived on July 28 and will de­part on Au­gust 12, are stay­ing with FCJ Col­lege fam­i­lies and by all ac­counts are hav­ing a fab­u­lous time.

Imag­ine com­ing from a city of more than 13.5 mil­lion peo­ple to Be­nalla, home of roughly 15 000.

A num­ber of girls are stay­ing with fam­i­lies who are out of town on farms and that has ap­par­ently been an eye-open­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

FCJ Col­lege and Sa­cred Heart Col­lege have un­der­taken ex­changes now for the past six years, al­ter­nat­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence each year, so it is a two-way learn­ing op­por­tu­nity.

Dur­ing their time with FCJ Col­lege they will ex­pe­ri­ence a di­verse range of Aussie ex­pe­ri­ences in­clud­ing day trips to Beech­worth, Echuca and Mel­bourne.

They will also have the op­por­tu­nity to visit to Healesville Sanc­tu­ary, Cooinda Aged care and St Joseph’s Pri­mary school, as well as out­ings with their host fam­i­lies and of course vis­its to a range of classes to see what a typ­i­cal Australian les­son is like.

One of the most pos­i­tive and no­tice­able things we see dur­ing an ex­change ex­pe­ri­ence is re­gard­less of cul­tural and lan­guage bar­ri­ers, young peo­ple are es­sen­tially so­cial be­ings who are in­quis­i­tive and in­ter­ested in each other.

They show each other re­spect, tol­er­ance and are in­clu­sive, whether it is the Ja­panese stu­dents vis­it­ing here, or the FCJ Col­lege stu­dents vis­it­ing Ja­pan.

One of the stu­dents, Hi­nako Tsut­sumi, had the op­por­tu­nity to ride a horse for the first time and has been en­joy­ing lessons with her host fam­ily at Jane Gal­bally Horse Rid­ing School in Greta West.

A high­light was meeting three­week-old Irish Don­key Percy.

The stu­dents were asked a few ques­tions about their ex­pe­ri­ence thus far, and we re­ceived some in­ter­est­ing re­sponses.

Meeting the mayor of Be­nalla was a high­light, and they have also en­joyed see­ing kan­ga­roos, speak­ing English, see­ing nature and meeting new peo­ple.

When asked about their fun­ni­est ex­pe­ri­ence they said Jump­ing on a tram­po­line with the host fam­ily’s dog, watch­ing TV and tast­ing some Australian food.

— FCJ Col­lege

Don­key de­light: Hi­nako Tsut­sumi with host fam­ily Mil­li­cent and Kelsey Scriven feed­ing new mum Myrna as she feeds baby Percy.

Firm friends: Year 9 stu­dents Molly Hey­wood and So­phie Humphries with Sa­cred Heart stu­dents Momoko Kambe and Ayaka Kimura.

Cook­ing up a storm: Ja­panese and Australian stu­dents en­joy a home eco­nom­ics class.

Above: Hi­nako had never rid­den a horse be­fore com­ing to Australia.

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