College welcomes Japanese students
St Brigid’s College Horsham marked the start of its sixth Japanese cultural exchange with Matsudo International High School at a welcome ceremony on Monday.
Staff and students officially celebrated the start of a three-week visit from 15 international exchange students at a whole-school assembly.
Japanese language teacher Jeni Allen said the students arrived in Australia at the weekend, and would leave on August 8 – the opening night of the college’s The Wizard of Oz.
She said the students were excited to see the musical in its final rehearsal on their last day, as well as participate in a range of activities including a Roses Gap camp.
“They’re looking forward to camp. They’ll go with their Australian host brothers and sisters and try abseiling, bushwalking and canoeing,” she said.
The Japanese students’ three-week itinerary will also include Australian cultural activities such as boomerang making and painting, as well as visits to Naracoorte and district farms.
Ms Allen said students were also excited to experience a different school life in Australia, in particular, recess.
“They don’t have recess in Japan,” she said. “They have a 50-minute lesson and then a 10-minute break, but there’s no recess, certainly no eating between lessons. But they do have a 40-minute lunchtime.”
Ms Allen said 20 Australian families will host the students for their visit, before college students embark on their own exchange in Japan in about six weeks.
She said host families made the experience possible and congratulated people who had joined the exchange program for multiple years.
“We’ve got 20 hosting families one way or another because some families can’t do it for the whole three weeks,” she said.
“But nothing like this can happen if we don’t have these host families.”
NEW FRIENDSHIPS: St Brigid’s College student Sean Mcdonald, front left, welcomes Toshihisa Kojima and his Japanese classmates from Matsudo International High School following a whole school welcome assembly. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER