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Japanese students visit Hugh Boyd Secondary School
After 40 years of inciting new friendships and life lasting memories, Hugh Boyd once again welcomed 26 Japanese students from Jonai secondary school (located in Shizouka) last Friday, celebrating the 41st year of their student exchange program.
Lena Francis, a teacher on the Hugh Boyd exchange committee, said every year 20 to 25 students go to Jonai School in October followed by a visit from the Jonai students in the spring.
“It’s one of the longest standing exchanges in Richmond.”
For two weeks the travelling Richmondites, staying with respective host families, sightsee around Tokyo, Hiroshima and Kyoto as well as visit the students at Jonai High.
The Jonai students who arrived last Friday stayed with a host family for a week did the same here in Richmond, and were not disappointed.
“We were able to make the best memories thanks to all these students,” said Akie Inoue, a Grade 9 exchange student from Jonai. “We’ve learned a lot and have had so much fun experiencing Canadian culture.”
“Everything in Canada is so big and open,” added Shinano Sonoda, a Grade 8 Jonai student. “It is very beautiful, and the people are very nice.”
Jessica Patel and Yukiko Lai, the girls’ host students, both agreed that the exchange program was a unique and rare opportunity, and both hope to be one of the students who travel to Japan in October of this year.
“It really encourages global understanding. It’s a chance for students to immerse themselves in a culture from the other side of the world and to celebrate the differences that makes every culture unique,” Francis said.
The international students flew back to Japan on Thursday filled with fond memories of Richmond and its wholehearted students.