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

Examples of school exchange /Case 3 October 2016

Guest School: National Pingtung Senior High School (Taiwan)

Host School: Nara Prefectural Takada High School (Nara)

By interacting with overseas students who differ in both their country of origin and ways of thinking, I want the students to gain valuable experiences that they wouldn’t otherwise normally be exposed to in their daily school life

Although I became aware about an initiative called Japan Educational Travel through the principal meeting, our school has not had the opportunity to implement it until now.

We were able to implement the exchange program on this occasion because conditions such as schedule have become clear. Although I am worried about the large number of quiet students, this is a one-in-a-million opportunity for them to interact with high school students of different countries. We were determined to implement the exchange in order to foster their future growth.

The only difficulty we faced was balancing the schedule of the classes that accepted the students. However, we managed to resolve even this problem as we decided to mainly use first-year student classes, which have a base theme of “overseas” as part of their general studies, and therefore form a curriculum around this for the year.

On the actual day of acceptance, the scene of students from our school and National Pingtung Senior High School trying earnestly to communicate with one another through hand and body gestures, left a deep impression on me. I believe that it is a valuable experience for the students as they learn to find ways of overcoming obstacles when things don’t go their way.

We are highly grateful toward the school exchange coordinator of the Nara Prefecture Travel Agency, Mr. Akai, for his efforts to facilitate acceptance of educational travel to Japan. Mr. Akai possesses teaching experience and has ample knowledge concerning the conditions of the accepting schools and system. We were able to do the exchange smoothly from preparation to implementation as he was very considerate in many aspects, in particular making sure the burden of the school was reduced.

Reflecting on the acceptance, the one thing that I regret is not being able to fully make specific plans until directly before the implementation of the exchange. We should consider factors such as the fact that the school year of the visiting Taiwanese school begins from September, as well as the number of students visiting and what sort of program they might expect, in order to fully promote mutual understanding.

Nara Prefectural Takada Senior High School

Kazuyoshi Fujita,High School Principal

School Exchange

13:15 Welcoming Ceremony
Principals' Greetings
Word from the Students of Both Schools
Exchange of Commemorative Gifts
Pingtung Senior High School Singing of School Anthem
Takada High School Singing of School Anthem
Itinerary Explanation
14:15 Class Visits
Science
Foreign Affairs
Japanese
English
Mathematics
Science
15:20 Club Activity Visits
Kendo
Judo
Tea Ceremony
16:10 Closing Ceremony
Words from Both Schools' Representatives
Commemorative Photograph
16:30 Send-off

Class visits

Joining in on the kendo club

Joining in on the kendo club

Joining in on the judo club

Participating in the tea ceremony club

Closing ceremony

Saying farewells

We make arrangements with a focus on interacting with Japanese students and experiencing the common Japanese lifestyle

In Nara prefecture, we accepted 22 schools requesting educational travel in Japan in 2016 alone. Takada Senior High School is the 18th case. Although there are not many options to begin with due to the low number of schools, as a prefecture we put in a lot of effort into the program and are characterized by the high level of our school acceptance rates.

One advantage of implementing educational travel in Japan in Nara Prefecture is being able to homestay at an actual local residence. Particularly in the case of the Asuka region, there is an organization that promotes the acceptance of homestays and there are 50 households available. It is a valuable opportunity for the visiting school to experience a “true Japanese lifestyle.” Each year there are schools that base their educational travel plans in Japan with a homestay in Nara prefecture, linking to high turnover rates.

We frequently receive requests from overseas school staff in charge of educational travel in Japan, such as, “we want time for the students to interact with one another,” “we want to experience the atmosphere of Japanese classes,” and “we want to learn about forms of Japanese culture, including club activities.” Based on these requests from overseas schools, Takada Senior High School does not entertain the students of National Pingtung Senior High School with specially designed classes. Instead, we prepare a place for the students to experience the actual atmosphere of a Japanese school, by allowing them to participate in normal classes, as well as activities that allow them to experience traditional Japanese culture, such as club activities. This type of program style provides a valuable opportunity for both the local students and overseas students to interact with one another. Students begin to develop an interest in foreign countries and become motivated to study languages as they experience frustration at not being able to express their opinions in their own words. We are now very happy that we have implemented the program when we receive comments from students such as “it was very stimulating! When will the next program be?”

Nara Prefecture Travel Agency, Promotion Team, Inbound Sales

School Exchange Coordinator Katsumi Akai

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