“I don’t want to leave Hillmorton!” said one young Japanese student visiting us recently.

After a successful visit last year we were delighted to welcome back a short-term group of five students, their principal and English teacher from Ikeda-Cho, Japan. 

The group arrived on Saturday 18 February and left again on Friday 24 February. In their few days here they experienced life as a homestay student, were welcomed by our Year 7 and 8 students in a whakatau, had both mainstream classes with their buddies along with their own English language classes, shared some aspects of Japanese culture in exchange lessons with some of our Japanese language students, learnt to make lolly-cake which they took to the residents of a retirement village, and had a day at Willowbank taking part in a Maori cultural experience and seeing the birds and wildlife. It was an enjoyable, but busy few days!

The group were: Keita Tsuji, Mayu Mukai, Rena Suyama, Risa Furuta, Keiko Yasuda (English teacher, Ikeda-Cho High School, Nobuyoshi Nobata (principal of Ikeda-Cho High School).

Special thanks to our homestay families, the Year 7 and 8 students for their welcome, the Year 9 Japanese class, 7/8RSF and the students’ buddies Delkha Azimi, Robbie Barr, Maddie Keogan, Micheal King, Angus Lowe, Finlay Martin and Kennedy Vallance for all helping to make the week a memorable for our visitors.

By Pam Hunt


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