Harvey students once again welcomed students from Japan’s Miyoshi High School for a week’s stay in New York.
Seven students from Harvey’s sister school in Japan did home stays with Harvey host families, shadowing their host students at school for several days and traveling on sightseeing tours in New York on other days. This was the third visit of Miyoshi students to Harvey since 2013 when the two schools started their sister-school relationship.
During Monday morning Community Meeting March 6, the Miyoshi students gave a presentation introducing Harvey students to their way of life in their Japanese high school.
On Tuesday, the visitors spent the day in New York City Tuesday, March 7, with Harvey’s Japanese language teacher Tim Cornell to visit Columbia University, Sumitomo Mitsui Bank and the 9/11 Memorial Museum. “This was an excellent opportunity for the students to see the importance of becoming bilingual and a way to learn more about New York,” said Mr. Cornell.
After spending the morning shadowing their host students, Wednesday, March 8, the Miyoshi students visited West Point and Bear Mountain Park as they continued to learn about American history and see firsthand the beauty of the Hudson Valley.
When the Japanese visitors returned to Harvey Thursday, March 8, they gave class presentations that they had worked on before coming to America, talking about the topics of leadership, peace, Japanese bath culture, recycling, martial arts, future dreams and club activities
A snowstorm Friday, March 10, canceled school and forced a change of plans,giving the students an extra day with their host families. Some students got together with their host brothers and sisters for some bowling and video games while the rest enjoyed their last day with their host families doing last minute sightseeing and shopping.
When Saturday, March 11, arrived and it was time to say their goodbyes, several shed tears as strong bonds were formed even though it was only a weeklong visit.
“As the world gets smaller, I think these types of exchanges are crucial for us to better understand each other and create a more peaceful world,” said Mr. Cornell. “I feel the Harvey students benefited as well by learning firsthand about Japanese culture and about the opinions and world views of their peers from Japan,” he added.
Next June, Miyoshi students will return the favor as hosts when they welcome Harvey students to their city and school for the third time since the exchange program began.