News Centre

Japanese exchange develops richer understanding

Ruiqi Jiang

During the chilly afternoon on Wednesday, 9 August 2023, our Year 9 students were fortunate enough to host a group of exchange students from Itoshima High School in Fukuoka, Japan.

Waiting in anticipation at the entrance of Sancta Maria College, the Year 9s watched intently as twenty Japanese students arrived during lunchtime. After arriving at Sancta Maria College, everyone separated into their designated groups, and the Year 9s toured the school with the students. The exchange provided our students with the perfect opportunity to practice and apply our Japanese skills learnt from classes; this exchange allowed the Japanese students and us to develop a richer understanding of each other’s lives and cultures. Despite the differences in language and culture, we welcomed the students with warm hospitality and learned numerous new things about each other’s way of life.

After a full hour of touring and chatting with the Japanese students, we headed to the auditorium for an official welcome. The welcome begun with our Year 9s singing a waiata and the Sancta Maria College school song; a few select speakers from our Japanese classes then had the honour of greeting the exchange students in Japanese. The students from Itoshima High School also greeted us with their school anthem and a speech (by select students) as a thank you. When the welcome concluded, all students were encouraged to take a biscuit while exiting the auditorium to prepare for the following performances.

The remarkable performances led by our Year nine students included an instrumental of “The Bare Necessities”, a Barbie dance, a band performance of the song “Let It Be”, and a performance of a Japanese song (by Year 10s) called “Sukiyaki”. Once our performances finished, the day concluded with Itoshima High School’s student-led activities. The activities included a quiz about Japanese culture; a traditional Japanese game called otedama, a bean sack game used by juggling or playing throwing/catch and an introduction to origami, which is folding paper to create shapes.

The exchange and interaction of culture, languages, and students between Itoshima High School and Sancta Maria College was truly a beautiful and unforgettable experience. A big thanks to the efforts of Mrs Kevern and all the students who made the day a success.