To Japan and back again

Picture+taken+by+Jonathan+Ho
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To Japan and back again

Picture taken by Jonathan Ho

Picture taken by Jonathan Ho

Picture taken by Jonathan Ho

Picture taken by Jonathan Ho

Om Khandekar

Picture taken by Jonathan Ho

Picture taken by Jonathan Ho

Exactly four weeks ago, twenty two MVHS students returned home. For many of the MVHS Japanese students that boarded the plane on Jan. 18, going to Japan was a dream come true. Not only did they get to spend eight school days in another country, but they did so at the expense of a  government endorsed student exchange program. Although the transportation, food and lodging were all paid for, the trip wasn’t all fun and games. The Japanese International Cooperation Center, or JICE, took the students to different culturally significant areas in Japan to increase their exposure to Japanese culture and to change the views these students may have previously had about Japan. For eight days, they visited shopping districts, museums, temples and even a local high school. Watch as eight of these students describe their experiences in Japan.

 

Day 1: Compared to sightseeing in Japan, a ten hour plane ride there may not seem like anything to write home about. For senior Austin Wu however, even this mundane plane ride had its own unique experiences.

Day 2: But the trip in Japan wasn’t just fun and games. A common theme throughout the trip was to educate the MHVS students, as junior Alex Maertens talks about a series of lectures they attended in order to learn more about Japanese culture.

Day 3: After a relatively short stay in Tokyo, the students moved to Sapporo by plane. As soon as they landed however, they dived right into a hurried lunch and a factory tour. Senior Michelle Chen discusses the busy but rewarding schedule of their third day in Japan.

Day 4: After waking up in a snowed out city, the MVHS students begin their tour of a new city on a new island. Sophomore Nicholas Lee recounts a visit to a cultural museum and a private high school.

Day 5: The homestay was an essential piece of the exchange program, as the student’s experiences wildly differed as they resided with a local Japanese family. From visiting landmarks to trying out new foods, the homestay portion of the visit introduced everyday life in Japan to these MVHS students. Sophomore Sabrina Hung elaborates on her own personal homestay experience.

Day 6: After a farewell to their newfound friends, the MVHS students flew back to Tokyo. Once in Tokyo, any chance of relaxation was over as the students did what MVHS students do best: cram and improvise. Junior Chi Lao explains how for the rest of the night, preparations were made for one presentation to summarize their entire experience.

Day 7: With the end of the presentation, MVHS students’ time in Japan was almost over. With one last day in Tokyo, Senior Allison Wong remembers visiting a mall and exploring a science museum as they get another glimpse at Japan’s unique culture.

Day 8: Once again, the MVHS students were back at an airport ready to fly out. But this time, the ride felt even worse as the students had to say goodbye to Japan. As sophomore Christian Wu describes his last day in Japan, his feelings about leaving Japan are shared by all the students on the trip.