On Tuesday, February 13, 25 students from Mr. Cornell’s Japanese classes went on a field trip to the Keio Academy of New York. The Keio Academy is a bilingual Japanese seven-day boarding school located in Purchase, N.Y. Mr. Cornell, the Japanese teacher at Harvey, began this annual exchange with Keio in 2005 to help support the Japanese language program at Harvey, and to create bonds between the students of the two schools.
At the start of the fall semester, Harvey students were matched with partner students at the Keio Academy, and they began exchanging letters of introduction. This allowed the Keio students the opportunity to practice their English, and gave the Harvey students a fun way to practice their Japanese.
Upon arriving at Keio, the students paired with their partners and off to class they went. Several classes involved the Harvey students in class discussions and activities which provided an amazing immersion learning experience. The students were also treated to lunch in Keio’s beautiful cafeteria with the Keio students, providing a relaxed social environment in which to further expand on their Japanese language skills. Finally, the Harvey students had to return to Katonah, but many asked if they could stay for the last slot of the day, or if they could return to Keio for another visit this year. The smiles, excitement, and laughter were testament to the fun they had and the bonds they created.
Harvey's students are eagerly looking forward to April when they are able to return the wonderful hospitality shown to them by hosting these same Keio students as they shadow their Harvey partners for the day here on the Harvey campus. Mr. Cornell’s hope is that connections will be further deepened and the friendships formed will last beyond this program in this ever more interconnected world.