Japanese students come to Nanaimo

More than 100 Japanese students found out what life with a Canadian family is like last week.

More than 100 Japanese students found out what life with a Canadian family is like last week.

On Friday, 107 students from Furukawa Shogyo High School in the Miyagi Prefecture, one of the areas hardest hit by the earthquake and tsunami last March, were expected to arrive at John Barsby Secondary School.

Cheryl Lee, director of Muskoka Language International, said the number of students participating is almost double from last year.

Since the students’ school was damaged in the natural disaster last spring, she said they are fortunate to still be able to come to Canada for an educational experience.

The students stayed with Nanaimo families before going home today (Nov. 8).

The purpose of the visit is two-fold, said Lee.

Students get to practice their English-speaking skills and see what life in a typical Canadian family is like, from going to the mall or grocery store to playing a game of street hockey.

“It’s a real fancy version of a field trip,” she said. “They’re beginners at English. There’s a certain amount of charades that goes on.”

Homestay families picked the students up at John Barsby Friday night, then the families and the student return to the school for a potluck dinner and games Saturday evening, organized by Barsby students.