Our students who take Japanese stand out in a crowd. They show prospective colleges and future employers that they possess determination, patience, and no fear of challenging themselves.
The Japanese language program at Harvey started in 2002 and has developed through the years to extend well beyond the classroom. Between 10-15% of all Harvey students take Japanese each year. Students can begin their study of the language and culture of Japan in Grade 9 and take four years of the language.
Learning the Japanese language is beneficial for many reasons. Japan is the third largest economy in the world and the second largest direct foreign investor in the U.S. American, and Japanese companies located in the U.S. are continually looking for job applicants who are proficient in Japanese and who understand the culture.
Students are intrigued to learn more about the Japanese language and the country that inspired such "cool" cultural exports as Anime, manga, martial arts, origami, karaoke, and video games.
Students look forward to the many opportunities that they have to interact with students from Japan. Every year Harvey and The Keio Academy, a Japanese school 20 minutes from Harvey in Purchase, N.Y., share a school-exchange program where we shadow and interact with students from Japan who are studying in America.
Our students enjoy many opportunities to discover Japanese culture outside the classroom, including attending the Japanese Spring Festival at the United Nations School in New York, welcoming Taiko drummers and a Koto group to Harvey, visiting the Katonah Museum of Art for an exhibit on samurai armor, and dining out at local Japanese restaurants.
The Japanese language program seeks to make the study of the language and its culture relevant to our students and inspire them to continue with the study of the language beyond their time at Harvey.
Harvey has sister schools located in Tokyo and Hiroshima that we visit every two years in a home-stay program. These school trips abroad, open to students who study Japanese, offer an exciting opportunity to learn about the culture of Japan firsthand, practice their Japanese language skills, and develop long-lasting relationships with students in Japan.
Our students visited Japan in June 2018, and we will welcome students from Japan to homestays with Harvey students in March 2019. This visit will allow the Japanese students the opportunity to learn more about the U.S. and give our students the chance to continue the relationships they started when we visited the year before. Our next trip to Japan will be in 2020.
Several of our students have gone on to study Japanese in college while many others have decided to study abroad in Japan.