2016 Exchange Program
Taking part in the Japanese Exchange Program for three months has truly changed my life. It allowed me to experience an entirely new, amazing culture and meet so many beautiful people. I was lucky enough not only to see all the breathtaking sights of Osaka and go to Osaka Minami High School every day, but I could also, thanks to my beautiful host family, visit Nara, Kyoto, Wakayama, Saitama and Tokyo. Especially in Tokyo, spending time with Manami’s aunt, uncle and their baby as we went around to Tokyo Tower, Asakusa Temple and more was so touching. Also, the visit to Wakayama in the final week of my exchange allowed me to experience a traditional Japanese Onsen with my host family. During the outdoor bath, it started snowing which is a rare and extremely special experience.
I made so many wonderful memories and learnt a lot of Japanese, increasing my skills in such a way that a classroom lesson cannot do. It was an unbelievable experience and one I will never forget.
From the morning train rides to the top of the tallest building, Abeno Harukas, I will remember every moment.
By Willow Crocé
Last year in November, 6 other students and myself from Years 10 and 11 went to Osaka Japan to attend Osaka Minami Senior High School on exchange for nearly 3 months. Osaka Minami Senior High School is very different from Mount Waverley Secondary College so it took a bit to get used to but once I got used to the dynamics of the school it soon felt like a home away from home. Everyone is so kind. I was lucky enough to get to see a lot of my past friends from past exchange trips and also from hosting on school trip. Everyone in my class 1D was so kind to all of the exchange students. I had the chance to become good friends with so many of them. I also got the chance to meet a few of the girls from the other class, 1C.
I was given the chance to join the baseball club at Minami. As they have a lot of clubs, I wasn’t sure if it was the club I wanted to join but after one practice and talking with the managers and baseball team, I knew this was the club.
Over the course of 3 months, I made more memories then I can count, more friends than I ever imagined and an even bigger love for Japan.
Our last day was filled with tears. Saying goodbye to the classmates we have been with for the past 3 months and had grown close to was hard knowing we wouldn’t see them for a while. We were all waiting at the airport when so many of the Japanese students became friends with came to say goodbye. I was lucky to get to say goodbye to some of my class mates from 1D, some friends from 1C, the baseball team but most of all some of my third year friends who came and surprised me. Seeing everyone there was very different because I had never experienced something like. Saying goodbye was hard but having the memory of them all standing there and surprising us will be something all of us will not forget.
I will be forever grateful for the opportunity I was given in going to Japan with 7 other people who I can say have become very close friends now. I hope in future years that students who go on exchange will get to have an even more wonderful time with wonderful people and memories.
By Sheridan Daniels