Japanese students from Furukawa Gakuen High School visited Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district for a weekend-long cultural exchange this past weekend.
The students and their teachers made the trip that included a 12-hour flight, buses, and a ferry ride to come see what life is like in Canada. Furukawa Gakuen students have been coming to the Nanaimo-Ladysmith area for 25 years.
“It provides a different perspective for students. We’re always interested in students seeing different cultures, and experiences,” said Dave Travers, Ladysmith Secondary School principal.
Eighty-five students participated in the exchange. The students arrived Friday evening and got settled with their host families.
“A lot of families stepped up to host. We’re really appreciative of that, and appreciative for folks in Nanaimo for stepping up as well,” Travers said.
On Saturday, the students were treated to an evening showcasing Ladysmith talent, including performances by the LSS band and improv group. After the showcase, there were stations where the Japanese students could learn more about Canada.
Monday saw an assembly where LSS gifted Furukawa Gakuen High School an eagle print by John Marston. The Furukawa students performed dances, and were given a tour of LSS to see what courses are offered at a Canadian high school.
After the tour, the Furukawa students put on their own cultural stations to share their culture with Ladysmith students. They were scheduled to catch a ferry back to Vancouver and fly to Japan today, Dec. 10.
Of the many years the schools have done the exchange, there has not been any opportunities for Nanaimo-Ladysmith students to visit Japan.