Students at St. Francis of Assisi Middle School have been playing host to some very special guests this month.
For the past two weeks, the school has been home to a group of students from Nagasaki Junshin Junior High School in Japan.
The students are in Canada as part of a program to study Canadian culture and to learn English by being immersed in it.
“Some of them have been hanging around with Canadian buddies and they’re integrated into the school system. So then they get to meet other Canadian students in the school so then they get to learn their English, plus learn whatever else is going on in the school as well,” said Corinne Nelson, the program coordinator with Muskoka Language International, the group which organized the Japanese students’ visit to the City.
Nelson said having students from another culture visit the school district can have a huge impact both on the visiting students and on the school that is hosting them.
“It’s cultural sharing. We introduce some of the Japanese culture to the Canadian culture and then they learn about some of the different games that are in their country. It’s all about sharing and getting along with each other internationally.”
As part of that cultural sharing piece, the students also invited students from St. Francis to take part in a number of traditional Japanese art forms and games including calligraphy, origami and Japanese paper balloons.
During their two week stay, the students from Nagasaki Junshin spent their time enrolled in ESL courses and being integrated into regular classes in English. They also got to travel to different locations throughout Central Alberta in order to fully experience the province before they returned home on Tuesday.