Japan Tour 2017 Homecoming

All 43 students and 4 teachers returned safely to Sydney on Friday 14 July. Students have been beaming at school this week as they recall the highlights of sightseeing such as white water rafting and Udon making in Shikoku, the cycling tour and geisha dinner in Kyoto and Disney Sea and shopping in Tokyo. More important than sightseeing, students have commented on how much they have learnt about Japanese culture and etiquette. Trying new foods, going to festivals, experiencing a Japanese hot spring seeing how Japanese people lived, observing how Japanese people behaved and following their lead. They made connections between the Japanese taught in class and applied this to their daily routine in Japan. Language associated with greetings, introducing themselves, ordering food, shopping, talking about hobbies and family and understanding times, meetings places and invitations. Students were also able to learn travel skills such as how to pack, buy tickets and board trains and buses and read timetables. They also learnt more about themselves. One of the greatest highlights of the tour was the 5-day visit to our sister school and homestay. Students were able to enjoy excursions with their hosts to the Mazda factory and Hiroshima Peace Park. Here they heard a survivor talk which poignantly addressed the futility of war. They joined in school clubs, art and English classes as well as spending evenings getting to know their host families, eating homemade Japanese food, being taken out to dinner and various famous places in Hiroshima. Host families were even skyping the families in Australia and getting to know one other. The students discovered that building relationships with Japanese people and with their own peers is what makes travelling meaningful and memorable.

French and Japanese Visitors

Next week, we will welcome 4 French students for 3 weeks and 20 students from our visiting Japanese school ‘Jishukan’ for 11 days. HGS families from both the Senior and Junior schools have volunteered to host these students and the Languages staff would like to thank these families for their hospitality and we are sure the visiting students will gain a lot from their experience as will the students and families hosting.

Belinda Gerometta | Head of Languages