An update from Jesse on his move to Japan for a rugby scholarship. Well done Jesse.
Around 4 months ago I moved to Osaka City, Japan on a rugby scholarship. The plan is for me to spend the rest of my high school years (3 years) here and see where rugby can take me from there. I moved with another boy from St Bedes and we share a room together in a dormitory. The school we go to is called Kokoku High School, it is a boys high school with about 2300 students.
Due to coronavirus we haven’t been able to kick off our first game yet unfortunately but the season is set to start in late September so I’m very excited for that. I’ve been getting to know my classmates and teammates quite well, they are all very welcoming and always looking to lend a helping hand. One of the interesting things about school here is that there are 50 people in our class and the classrooms look a lot different to NZ; each person has a desk that are lined up row by row.
Fortunately for me I do my study in a separate room with the other international student athletes, there are 6 of us, 2 baseball players from Taiwan, 2 rugby players from NZ, one other rugby player from Fiji and a runner from Kenya who is the number one high school long distance runner in all of Japan!
School starts at 8:30 am and finishes at 3:10 pm, we have 6 different periods and we are just focusing on studying/learning the Japanese language, each period we have a different teacher, some teachers give us lots of work and some teachers just chat with us or play games, its a good mix. One of the most difficult things I have found so far is trying to communicate with others, especially on the rugby field trying to call a play. Most of the Japanese students will know a little bit of English and I know a little bit of Japanese so we sometimes switch between languages during a conversation to try and get the point across, sometimes it’s a bit of a shambles.
All of our meals are provided for us too, breakfast (6:50 am) and lunch (12:20 pm) are in the school cafeteria while dinner (7.00 pm) is off site at another campus. If I need snacks or anything I just head 200 m down the road to the convenience store and pick up whatever I want, its very convenient:)
Overall I’m loving my time so far in Japan, such a great experience and opportunity.