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Welcoming back Japanese exchange students

“Minasan, ohayou gozaimasu!”

All Saints Japanese teacher Ms Hiro Suita smiles as she bids good morning to her first Year 10 class of the day, just like always. Only this time, her cohort has doubled in size.

In the gaps between each All Saints blazer sits a very excited visitor; a student from our Japanese sister school, Chiba Eiwa High School.

Despite a little overcrowding, it’s a sight Ms Suita has sorely missed. The last time All Saints welcomed any friends from Japan was pre-pandemic, and it is wonderful to see their return in 2023.

In Term 1, All Saints welcomed three visiting groups from Japanese schools Chiba Eiwa High School, Kanagawa Gakuen Girls High School and Inage High School. It was a valuable opportunity for both All Saints students and visitors to hone their skills in English and Japanese.

Here are a few reflections from this exciting inter-cultural experience.

Saskia Birner, Year 10 Japanese student

What was the best part about hosting a homestay student? 

My student’s name was Ryo and it was so great when we all went to the beach together, because it was her very first time going in the water at a beach. I taught her how to boogie board! I also really enjoyed chatting with her while she stayed. It was about getting more basic vocabulary; I picked up quite a few new words.

Mariann Capper, Tour Group Coordinator

What do the exchange students typically do while here? 

The students spend their days at school participating in a variety of activities, including special English language lessons, integration into Japanese classes to enhance local student language learning and attending regular classes with designated Senior School buddies. Students also enjoy cultural experiences such as visits to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and other local attractions. The Gold Coast is the ideal city for such programs and as a result, is extremely popular. Such visits also engender life-long memories and friendships, and hopefully improved English language skills. It’s great to have them back! 

Manami Ono, Kanagawa Gakuen student

What was the highlight of your visit to All Saints? 

I think the best part of my visit to All Saints was talking with Mrs Capper. We had English classes that were very interesting but talking with her was a very good experience for me. Everyone at All Saints was so kind and always smiled to us. I saw many races of people in the school, and you are all friends. When I was in Japan, I was full of anxiety about homestay, but my host family were so kind. I did so many things with them. I talked to them a lot, ate some delicious food - they are all good memories!