St Brigid’s College prepare to farewell Japanese friends | Photos, pictures

HORSHAM’S St Brigid’s College’s Japanese exchange students will say goodbye to many lifelong friends on Saturday.

The Japanese students visited Horsham for three weeks from Matsudo International High School.

The students’ cultural experience will come to an end when they make their journey home on Saturday.

Excursion leader Lynley Macdonald said hosting the students for another year was a privilege. She said the three weeks had been jam-packed with activities. 

“We have had very busy weeks. I am sure the girls are very tired, but they have loved every minute of it,” she said. 

The Japanese exchange students went camping in Natimuk, visited caves in Naracoorte and visited kindergarten and primary school students. 

Ms Macdonald said the students had more opportunities to experience school life in Australia this year. She said more staff were involved, which allowed students to go into a classroom and observe.

“Students were able to observe classes such as photography and outdoor education,” she said. “Then the Japanese students had the chance to teach other students Japanese songs and Hiragana.” 

Ms Macdonald said St Brigid’s College students had a better understanding about the experience’s importance this year. 

“With the students going to Japan for the first time last year we have been able to close the circle. They now understand why this learning experience is important,” she said. 

Japanese exchange student Jun Wada said she had many first time experiences over her three weeks. 

“My host family are farmers and they have many sheep and chickens,” she said. “I got to touch a sheep for the first time. I also rode on a tractor.

“I went to church for the first time with my host family. That was interesting, but I didn’t understand much. 

“I was surprised because they did a lot of singing and also played games.” 

Japanese exchange student Yukiko Hiraoka said she played football for the first time. She said the year nine students had taught her how to play football and netball.