"KAKEHASHI Project" Iwaki Sogo High School (Fukushima)

Dispatch in November 2013

Group 2 (Junior and Senior High School Students and University Students)
Iwaki Sogo High School (Fukushima)

Period:November 1 - 14, 2013
Local Visit Destination:Bloomington High School North (Indiana)
Number of Participants: 25

Tour Photo Album

Photo of Orientation in the U.S. (Presentation practice)
Orientation in the U.S.
(Presentation practice)

Photo of Millennium Park (Learning about US culture)
Millennium Park
(Learning about US culture)

Photo of Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) (Presentation) 1
Japanese American Citizens League (JACL)
(Presentation)

Photo of Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) (Presentation) 2
Japanese American Citizens League (JACL)
(Presentation)

Photo of Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) (Presentation) 3
Japanese American Citizens League (JACL)
(Presentation)

Photo of Japan America Society of Chicago (Presentation)
Japan America Society of Chicago
(Presentation)

Photo of School exchange at Steinmetz College Preparatory High School (Welcome ceremony)
School exchange at Steinmetz College Preparatory High School
(Welcome ceremony)

School exchange at Bloomington High School North (Making Halloween ornaments)
School exchange at Bloomington High School North
(Making Halloween ornaments)

Photo of School exchange at Bloomington High School North (Participating in class)
School exchange at Bloomington High School North
(Participating in class)

Photo of School exchange at Bloomington High School North (Presentation)
School exchange at Bloomington High School North
(Presentation)

Photo of Denver Museum of Nature and Science (Learning about US culture and nature)
Denver Museum of Nature and Science
(Learning about US culture and nature)

Photo of Debriefing session
Debriefing session

Voices from Participants

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

  • What impressed me most was the behavior of the American students when we were making presentations. They listened quietly at first, but when we asked for their feedback, many of them replied, "Yes, that's right" without hesitation. I wanted to give more presentations to such aggressive audience. Also, I wondered why they got engaged in our presentations that spontaneously. I found the answer in their classrooms. We visited two schools during our stay in the United States, and one thing common to these schools was that all of the students actively expressed their opinions during class activities. One's behavior and personality changes depending on his/her everyday life, and I thought that someone's good behavior would influence other people in a good manner.
  • The homestay made the biggest impression on me. On the first day, I was really shocked with my English communication skills that were as poor as I could neither understand nor speak. But my host family kindly accepted me and waited with encouraging smiles while I was struggling to say something in English and looking up words on my electronic dictionary.

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

  • The hardest thing that I experienced in this dispatch program was the lack of my English communication skills. Since I had little experience in English conversation, I was frustrated with myself unable to communicate my thoughts. I am now aware of the importance of English, so I'm going to tell my friends how essential English skills are. I also learned the significance of human networks. I realized that I can broaden my perspective on the world and develop my human network by spontaneously speaking to other people. In the future, I would like to get more actively involved in exchange activities such as receptions and further expand my circle of acquaintances.
  • I found many differences between Japan and the U.S. when taking part in U.S. schools. One of them was the students' active attitude toward their class activities. Japanese students show passive attitude during school hours and do not take the initiative to do things on their own, but at every school, American students were engaged in and tackle their class activities with the attitude that they were really learning something. Had been influenced by this, I decided to change my lifestyle. I would also like to tell this to my close friends so that they can become really involved in something, not just in their schools.

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

  • Through the exchange in the United States, I could know good aspects of Japan again. During my stay in the U.S., I found loads of things that I've never seen in Japan, which was a very good experience for me. Things that are taken for granted in Japan were not in the U.S., and most of American manners were unknown in Japan. Differences in culture, lifestyle and prices of things, many of which are things I knew for the first time. I would like to talk to people about these facts and improve my English in order to visit the U.S. again.
  • I learned the importance of globalization through this project. There are many things you can't understand unless you visit the country. On an ordinary sightseeing tour, you cannot visit schools and do a homestay. By visiting schools I could communicate with the local students and understand cultural differences and national traits. My dream is to get a job that gives me a chance to fly around the globe, so I could learn a lot from this experience and realized many things during this two week stay. It was really great to have participated in this project. Thank you very much for this opportunity.

[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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