"KAKEHASHI Project" Nakano Nishi High School (Nagano Pref.)

Dispatch in March 2014

Group 5 (High School Students)
Nakano Nishi High School (Nagano Pref.)

Period: March 16 - 29, 2014
Local Visit Destination: Timpview High School (Utah)
Number of Participants: 25

Tour Photo Album

Photo of Orientation in the U.S.
Orientation in the U.S.

Photo taken at Roosevelt High School 1
School exchange at Roosevelt High School

Photo taken at Roosevelt High School 2
School exchange at Roosevelt High School
(Participating in class)

Photo taken at Reception hosted by the Consulate-General of Japan in Seattle
Reception hosted by the Consulate-General of Japan in Seattle at Shoreline Community College

Photo taken at Garfield High School 1
School exchange at Garfield High School

Photo taken at Garfield High School 2
School exchange at Garfield High School

Photo taken at Timpview High School 1
School exchange at Timpview High School
(Presentation)

Photo taken at Timpview High School 2
School exchange at Timpview High School

Photo taken at Timpview High School 3
School exchange at Timpview High School
(Participating in class)

Photo taken at Timpview High School 4
School exchange at Timpview High School

Photo taken at Timpview High School 5
School exchange at Timpview High School

Photo of Debriefing session
Debriefing session at the Georgia Institute of Technology

Voices from Participants

1. What impressed you most in this experience of promoting the charms of Japan in the U.S.?

  • After we gave our presentation about Japan, the local students were eager to ask questions. I felt that they longed to know about the country more strongly than Japanese students. When we talked about the differences between Japan and the United States, they reacted in various ways. I felt I caught a glimpse of the nature of the Americans.
  • The audience's responses were always different from one region or school to the next, and this made each presentation fun and inspiring for me. Thanks to the countless questions after the presentation, we were able to discuss the subject in greater depth, and I was able to re-explore my thoughts as well. I enjoyed the whole mood very much.

2. What would you like to pass on to people in your community and school after you return to Japan?

  • I want to share that people in the U.S. are easy-going and sociable. I saw firsthand how they strike up a conversation with a stranger as if they had been old friends, and thought this makes the country really attractive. Even walking into a store was a pleasant experience, since store clerks were always friendly and made me feel at home. Japanese people are not quite as sociable. We tend to be nervous in front of strangers; it takes time for us before acting friendly. I hope to take a lesson from people in the U.S. and try to be more sociable and talk to people, and then to rub off on the people around me.
  • In the U.S., each person has his or her own views, and sticks to them without being swayed by the views of others. I learned this through the homestay and at the schools we visited. Japanese people value harmony and always read the situation, but I thought this was not necessarily good at some occasions. Sometimes it is important to have your own views and to tell others. I also realized that I lack initiative; I shy from making the first move. Everywhere I went in the United States, people always greeted me first. It is normal for people there to say hello. Although I am still somewhat shy about saying hello to a stranger, I want to give it a try little by little when I return to Japan.

3. Please freely describe your experience in the KAKEHASHI Project.

  • I am truly grateful for the opportunity to participate in this project. Thank you. I plan to engrave in my mind the experiences I gained in the United States and draw on them in the future. I did a homestay last year as well, but this time I had fun making a whole new set of discoveries.
  • I believe my thoughts and outlook changed somewhat through this trip to the United States. My biggest impression is that people in the U.S. have respect for others. It is not that Japanese people have no respect at all, but I thought the U.S. students truly respected their parents and teachers, and their will to learn was built on this respect. Being thrown into an all-English environment in the homestay was an opportunity to study English and, in a good sense, to experience a culture shock. I hope to keep in mind what I felt in the United States after I return to daily life in Japan.

[Contact Us]

The Japan Foundation Youth Exchange Bureau
TEL : +81-(0)3-5369-6022 FAX : +81-(0)3-5369-6042
infokakehashi@jpf.go.jp
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