Trinity's long-standing relationship and sister school program with Reitaku High School in Japan affords our students the opportunity to experience an international school exchange. This is the unique experience of living and studying in another culture and and enables our students to develop skills and awareness that will enhance
their future potential.
At the end of 2017 a Year 8 student, Sara Tazaki spent three and a half weeks on exchange at Reitaku High School, living like a local, being immersed in Japanese culture and gaining valuable international experience. We hope her experience will encourage others to expand their worlds too.
I was given the opportunity to attend our sister school in Japan, Reitaku High School from 24 November to 20 December 2017 under the care of lovely teacher, Mrs Isayama.
At Reitaku High School I was able to join normal classes in Year 8 and although I am sure that my presence must have slowed down class teaching with my being less fluent in Japanese, all the students and teachers were really friendly and kind. The teachers printed or copied the work that was going to be done in class for each subject for me which was a great help. The subject Japanese was very hard for me to follow at times but I was able to follow in other subjects. In mathematics we covered areas which we had not yet done at Trinity so I am very excited about being able to use my newly acquired skills in Year 9. Sports class was also very exciting. We did volleyball as our main unit and I found the warm up exercises we did before each sports sessions completely new and really interesting. All the students ate lunch together in a big cafeteria each day with the school providing the food. I really enjoyed this especially as the food was delicious. One of the biggest challenges I had to tackle was probably having to travel to school on my own each day. This involved a fifteen minute train journey followed by a fifteen minute walk from the station to school. This definitely developed my independence.
I was privileged to be able to participate in a 30km walk from Reitaku School to the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo one weekend. I completed the 48km Kokoda Challenge in Australia earlier in 2017 so this walk was something I had really hoped to be able to do. The walk is an annual event at Reitaku but it is not compulsory and only those who want to do it go along so the atmosphere is great. I was able to meet and talk to other people in my grade and in the school during the walk and it was a wonderful way to meet new people and make new friends.
I also joined the excursion of the ILC English class who visited Trinity in 2017 and we spent a day visiting Japan Time Ltd, a company that publishes a daily newspaper written in English. The excursion included a tour around Japan Times Ltd as well as learning about what they do and how they make newspapers. I loved the excursion and, being an additional student on exchange, the staff were very kind to me. It was also a great opportunity to catch up with the students in the ILC class.
Last but definitely not least, the school let me participate in their Middle School Sports Carnival. We were allowed to choose a sport and I chose basketball. I was also selected to take part in the relay at the end of the carnival which was lots of fun.
My Japanese has definitely improved as a result of my time at Reitaku, not just in terms of speaking the language but also in writing the Japanese characters. I definitely want to continue my Japanese studies.
Going to Reitaku has helped me to understand the Japanese culture, improve my Japanese skills and build amazing friendships which I will remember forever. I would definitely love to visit again.