Against the backdrop of a glorious Gold Coast morning, we farewelled the 30 Honjo Higashi High School students and their two teachers, Mr Mark Itoh and Mrs Akiko Futagami, last Sunday. It was another emotional departure from the College, demonstrating how strong the bonds of international friendship can be forged in such a short time. The Honjo students all enjoyed their visit and our A.B. Paterson College host students proved to be wonderful ambassadors for our College. They are congratulated for the manner in which they looked after their Japanese buddies, and the due care they took to ensure their stay was enjoyable.
Whilst they were here, the Honjo students also participated in an English Study Tour at our College, and were then able to test their English communication with their homestays. As a whole group, Honjo students and their hosts spent an exciting day at Movie World, fostering strong friendships over the thrills and spills of attractions at the park, as well as enjoying a BBQ held at the College to farewell the students, in typical Aussie style. We were all lucky enough to be entertained by the Honjo students’ enthusiastic performance to a Japanese pop song at the end of the night.
23 years of continuing an international exchange program is certainly a wonderful achievement, and it could not be such a success without the amazing support and efforts from our entire College Community. On behalf of the Languages Faculty, we would like to thank and acknowledge the kind hospitality offered by the 30 host families: we are indebted to the Reimer, Kinja, Parker, Spence, Canning, Lim, Blumson, Williams, Kim, Murphy, Littlely, Sheehan, Corby, Twidale, Lange, Gilligan, Nguyen, Moore, Snow, Mohajer-Iravani, Chiu, Takahashi, Hwang, Abdel-Aal, Belling, Powis, Jennings, Newman, Raguz and Ellwood families, for opening their homes and their hearts to our visitors from Japan. Without your generosity of hosting a student for the duration of their visit, the exchange program would not be as successful as it is.
We look forward to reciprocating the visit this year in November, when 30 students and 3 teachers from the College will venture to Japan and experience this amazing country first-hand. We wish them all the best with their preparations over the coming weeks.
Head of Languages