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

Examples of school exchange /Case4 February 2017

Guest School: La Union School (Peru)

Host School: Saitama University Education Department Affiliated Junior High School (Saitama)

Through international exchange, I want students to feel close to foreign countries and dream of spreading their wings out into the world!
National schools are actively engaging in exchanges.
If you have any trouble finding a school to accept you, national schools will always be available!

Because the educational travel was in February, it was difficult for public schools to accept exchange students. However, since we are a national school, we are actively engaging in exchanges. I have been in office for three years, but we have been accepting exchange students once a year from before my time. We have had students from China and Mongolia. We also have faculty members that go abroad through JICA for training, so it is our school policy to actively engage in exchanges.

We mainly work through the Board of Education to collaborate with local governments regarding educational travel. Many of our faculty members are local teachers from Saitama Prefecture or Saitama City. Through personnel exchanges, we are having them work as teachers of Saitama City. In a few years, they will return to Saitama Prefecture or Saitama City. Therefore, I think we are able to cooperate well with the Board of Education.

The purpose of our educational travel is to establish connections with returnee students. We have been accepting returnee students form the 1970s and have made it our priority to have them integrate into Japanese culture. There are many Japanese students living abroad who are attending Japanese schools, so they are familiar with Japanese culture. The next necessary thing is to spread their experiences and knowledge of living abroad to the local Japanese students. We conduct returnee education in hopes of seeing that exchange. The educational travel serves a similar purpose by allowing the Peruvian students to experience Japan. Our students will be able to understand Peru as a country with many fourth generation Japanese-Peruvians with Japanese last names. And then, I want them to feel connected to the outside world. I want them to dream of creating a path to spread their wings into the outside world.

Although it was our first time accepting students form Peru, I heard that the teachers in each of the Grade 8 classes held preparatory classes. We have around fifteen returnee students in Grade 8 so they prepared welcome songs in the gymnasium, as well as games and attractions.

One of the attractions, choir, allowed the students to work together. Each year we have a choir competition, and have been performing it each year at our culture festival in October. We believe that music will be a key element in exchange.

I would like to accept a broad range of students through educational travel in the future. Even though our schedule is quite full, we would actively like to engage in international exchange. International education is one of the main characteristics of our school and Saitama University is also very passionate about supporting us, so we would like to accept as many as we can.

The Japanese Ministry of Education is also promoting special activities. They have adopted special measures for countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, and India, which I think is an interesting attempt.

I am also the president of all the national schools in the country and have created a booklet called, “For The Future of Our Country”. Each school has two pages that introduce their characteristics, so if there are any problems with acceptances, all national schools will be pleased to help. All national schools have disciplined their students to be able to be accepting and proper in any situation. I hope that the national schools will be chosen to be accepting schools. Also, I hope that in the future, not only will we be accepting schools, but that we will be also sending our students abroad. Student exchanges can create connections that last for a long time and I hope that this is what we can create.

Saitama University Affiliated Middle School Principal
Toshimoto Shuto

School Exchange

11:00 La Union School (Peru) Arrives
11:10 Opening Ceremonies
Principal's Welcoming Address
Greetings from the Representative of La Union
Explanation of the Day's Itinerary by the Vice-Principal
11:40 Tour of Class(es)
12:35 Lunch
13:15 Welcome Party
Welcoming Ceremonies
Exchange Activities
Peruvian Dance (La Union)
14:10 Clean-up, Last Class Meeting of the Day
15:10 Tour of Club Activities
16:15 Closing Ceremonies
16:30 La Union Departs
Opening Ceremonies(Principal's Welcoming Address)
Opening Ceremonies(Greetings from the Representative of La Union)
Tour of Class(es)
Welcoming Ceremonies (Peruvian Dance (La Union)

Welcoming Ceremonies (Peruvian Dance (La Union)

Tour of Club Activities (Tennis)
Tour of Club Activities (Softball)

School Exchange Interview

Saitama University Affiliated Middle School (Saitama)

La Union Middle School

The charm of Saitama is that it has many choices for Chichibu bed and breakfasts and school exchanges, while also having a location that makes it easy to combine with Tokyo itineraries!

Saitama Prefecture began working with educational travel to Japan in earnest in 2012. Most visitors have been from Taiwan, with the next most from China, then South Korea. This time, we welcomed visitors from Peru for the first time. In order to respond to the request to make school exchange the main part of the visit, we searched for host schools.

The unique thing about Saitama’s education travel to Japan is that it actively conducts school exchanges. Furthermore, starting this year, it became possible to have bed and breakfasts in the prefecture’s Chichibu region, so there is the attraction of being able to treat visitors to both of these experiences as part of a set.

The prefecture’s geographical location is yet another attraction. Saitama is close to Tokyo, and there are many schools interested in hosting exchanges. There are also a relatively high number of schools in the prefecture, which means there are many choices. Another strength of Saitama’s education trips to Japan is that there are many facilities that allow guests to view construction sites.

We came to select Saitama University Affiliated Junior High School as a host school because it has an entrance exam system for returnee Japanese children and has an understanding of international exchange. Even its affiliated elementary school conducts international education, and its fifth graders hosted an exchange for us in April last year. I’m glad we were able to arrange such a distinctive school exchange.

I would say one issue is how to raise Saitama Prefecture’s name recognition when bringing visitors from abroad. Furthermore, in order to establish communication between the relevant parties that is not only mediated by the prefecture and to lesson the load on each party, I would like to change how visitors are received according to each school and put a system into place that allows us to respond appropriately to any circumstance.

Saitama Labor Division Department Tourism Division Inbound Supervisor

Tada Keiichi

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