American, Japanese students learn together

American, Japanese students learn together

by Story and photo by: Lance Cpl. Aaron Henson | Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan
Stripes Japan

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- Students from Noda Gakuen High School in Yamaguchi City visited Matthew C. Perry High School at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, as part of an interscholastic exchange April 21, 2016.The visit provided approximately 39 Japanese students the opportunity to travel to an American school and experience their culture firsthand.

“This benefits both the American and Japanese students by providing them the chance to meet someone of a different nationality,” said Hiro Miyoshi, an English teacher for Global International Course. “It exposes them to our different cultures and helps them find new ways of thinking by broadening the students’ perspective.”

The main focus of the Global International Course is to afford students the resources needed to improve language and communication skills, challenge themselves to try new things and help understand roles in different societies.

Ethan Stover, a ninth-grader at Matthew C. Perry High School, said events like these help secure the two nations’ relationship with positive activities that educate both students about each other’s culture.

“They get to see what we do on a day-to-day basis and this brings us closer together,” said Stover. “At first, the language barrier made it hard to interact, but we broke the ice with a game of hangman. I enjoyed playing with them and seeing how they think.”

After finishing classroom instructions, students visited the Zero Hangar, home of a WWII Japanese Mitsubishi A6M Zero replica, and the only remaining Zero Hangar on the air station from that time.

“I definitely think these visits should continue in the future,” said Stover. “Once you get to know someone, you become friends and that can help strengthen our bond with Japan.”

Miyoshi said he would like the students at the high school to travel to Noda Gakuen in the near future so they can experience how Japanese children are taught.

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