Promoting exchange between international schools in Japan and the world,
connecting the world with Japan.

Examples of school exchange /Case 2 October 2016

Guest School: Hsinchu Municipal Hsiang Shan High School (Taiwan)

Host School: Chiba Prefectural Awa Takushin High School (Chiba)

Educational travel in Japan is a good opportunity to meet people from overseas. The students are able to communicate naturally with people in various countries!

Because our school is far from the center of the city and because we do not have many opportunities to meet people from overseas, we began accepting educational travel to Japan.

It has been seven years since we began accepting students in 2010, but we only began accepting them regularly recently. I don’t remember what country the first school we accepted was from, but we accepted a Taiwanese school last year and this year.

We had no particular difficulties in accepting them this year, but I remember having a hard time figuring out how to entertain them. Also, even if we had wanted to accept them, if there was an overlap with exam periods, we could not.

The program is run by the vice principal and teaching staff. Each year we arrange programs based on the number of students, duration of stay, and any specific requests. At first, we had them experience lessons and club activities. Last year, we had a mochi-tsuki festival after lessons. This year, we will have them focus on hands-on experience of lessons.

In terms of students in charge of the acceptance program, the second year humanities and science students were mainly in charge.

At Awatakushin High School, we have five unique training curricula. These are divided into five courses: humanities and sciences, gardening, animal husbandry, civil engineering, and cooking. This time, we will conduct a tour focused on the cooking course. The gardening course will make corsages. The humanities and sciences course will hold a course on mathematics taught in Chinese. We also have a calligraphy class. The music course will offer an opportunity to experience hand bell performances. I am glad that the exchange students were able to have unique experiences.

Among the programs, the mathematics course taught in Chinese was created by taking advantage of one of our teacher’s experiences teaching in a Japanese school in Shanghai. When our students went on exchange to a Taiwanese school, they were able to communicate with the local students in a mixture of a little English, Japanese, and Taiwanese while working on math formulas together.

We participate in the educational travel program when there is an offer from the tourism promotion division of the prefecture. Because the schedules tend to clash with other school events, we only accept overseas students once a year.

This time, we did not have a lot of time before the acceptance, so we were not able to learn enough about the country of Taiwan and the visiting school. If we are allowed more time before the acceptance, we could create a program with a nearby university that has a tourism department.

Through the acceptance of overseas students, I felt that students are able to communicate with overseas students more than the teachers had anticipated. I think that the best part of experiencing this program is that the students are able to naturally communicate with students from various countries.

Katsuyuki KondoPrincipal

School Exchange

10:00 Welcome
10:20 School Tour
11:00 Class Exchange
Home Economics
Agriculture
Calligraphy
Music
Mathematics
12:15 Lunch
13:00 Welcome Party
Opening Words
Principals' Greetings
School Introductions
Exchange Gathering
Words from Students of Both Schools
Hsiang Shan Senior High School Students' Performance (Choir)
Questions and Quiz
Exchange of Commemorative Gifts
Closing Words
Commemorative Photograph
14:00 Send-off

Hsiang Shan Senior High School students' performance (choir)

Lunchtime

Class exchange(calligraphy)

Class exchange (music)

Exchange of commemorative gifts

School Exchange Interview

Chiba Prefectural Awa Takushin High School (Chiba)

Hsinchu Municipal Hsiang Shan High School

The wide variety of programs take advantage of the geographical proximity of Narita Airport, have a detailed support system, and includes 189 unique schools from Chiba. Our program is seen as reliable and thus appreciated.

This is the fifth year since Chiba prefecture began participation in the educational trip program in 2011. In 2012, there was only one school from overseas due to the earthquake disaster. However, in 2013, there were 12 schools; in 2014, 19 schools; in 2015, 29 schools; and this year, there were more than 30 schools.

We mainly accept schools from Taiwan and Malaysia because our governor is focusing on youth exchange and visited these countries in the past.

One of the points we focus on is to use our geographical proximity to Narita Airport as an advantage. Once the students land at Narita Airport, we will bring them to a nearby hotel and subsequently go over the details of the homestay or school exchange. Right now, we have four professionals in charge of educational travel. We have a staff member who can speak Chinese, another who has experience at a travel agency, and I am a former teacher. Because I am familiar with schools, I am in charge of finding a matching school. I think our committed support is one of the reasons why we are valued by teachers and students.

The most difficult aspect of finding a matching school is that the academic schedule for Japan is different from that of academic schools in Taiwan or Malaysia. Fortunately, there are many schools in Chiba prefecture - 130 public schools and 59 private schools - so for now, I have been able to find a match out of the 189 possible high schools to choose from.

The most common requests I receive from overseas schools are lunch exchanges and experiences of participating in lessons and club activities. Because many schools from overseas do not have club activities like the schools in Japan, they are very interested in seeing what they are like. In Taiwan especially, art classes are no longer compulsory and many of their classes are lecture-based. Despite the possible presence of a language barrier, because art and physical education do not require the use of words, they are good programs to participate in for overseas students. In this respect, there are no difficulties because there are a wide variety of schools in Chiba. For example, if an overseas school requests a musical exchange, we have a school that goes on a musical trip to Europe. If it is looking for a sports exchange, we have schools that are competitive in basketball or volleyball; we have even had cases in which we had friendly competitions with overseas schools. We also have schools that focus on agriculture and horticulture, such as Awatakushin High School.

While we currently accept Taiwanese students more than any others, there are many other municipalities that are putting in considerable efforts, so I think it will be difficult to continue growing at the rate we are at now.

However, instead of focusing on just increasing numbers, I want to value and care for each and every exchange to improve the quality of the exchange and homestay that we offer. In addition to improving the already considerable support we provide, I think we should start thinking about countries such as Australia or Singapore.

Also, in addition to school exchanges, I hope to increase the number of programs to include exchanges with universities and companies, such as university programs or company internships, since there are a lot of universities in Chiba.

Furthermore, I want to increase the number of well-liked homestay destinations by asking more municipalities to participate each year.

Chiba Prefecture Commerce and Industry Labor Department Tourism Promotion Division
Dr. Toshiaki Watari

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