By Tatiana Garcia
For the past couple of weeks, Beaverton took part in hosting Japanese students from the Sister City program, which encourages cross-cultural understanding and promotes educational and economic exchange between Sister Cities around the world. During the stay, Japanese students were thrilled to complete their four-week ESL and educational excursions in Oregon. Apart from Japan, Beaverton also has Sister City ties with Russia, Taiwan, South Korea, Germany, and France. Many students in Sister City programs get involved through their school.
“I’m interested in foreign countries and I’m also very interested in the English language,” said exchange student Fuwari Yogi. “I want to be able to speak with English native speakers. I decided to join the program myself so I can see American schools, life, and culture.”
“Through the program, I want to learn English and the difference between American culture and Japanese culture,” added Maya Toya.
Chinatsu Ishihara’s favorite part of Ameria is the “American burgers. They’re so delicious.” Her friends agreed, describing their first time trying a burger.
The Japanese students were quick to point out some differences from the education system in the U.S. and in Japan. “In the U.S.A., students have more classrooms, but in Japan, students don’t move classrooms, the teacher comes to them,” said Toya.
“American students go to school by car or school bus. Japanese students go to school by train or by themselves,” said Yogi.
Yogi and her friends admire American students’ original style. In Japan, many schools require uniforms.
The end of the trip was bittersweet for many of them. “I want to come back to Portland one more time,” said Ishihara.
Beaverton was honored to host the Japanese exchange students and give them a Beav-tastic farewell. Until next time, Sister City visitors!
Japanese exchange students take a group photo. (Photo by Tatiana Garcia.)