Lismore City Council is seeking six lucky high school students to take part in the 2019 Sister City Student Exchange Program to Japan.
This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity takes place during the September school holidays and includes 12 days of adventure and cultural learning.
Lismore students will be billeted with local host families in Lismore’s sister city Yamato Takada, which gives students a taste of day-to-day Japanese life. A Council-approved chaperone will act as a guardian throughout the exchange.
“The host families are very welcoming and accommodating – Yamato Takada is very proud of its sister city relationship with Lismore and they are amazing hosts,” organiser Michella Wade said.
“They will go out of their way to look after the students staying with them and treat them like they would their own children.”
Council is also seeking host families to accommodate Japanese exchange students travelling to Lismore this July (2019).
“A lot of the time the students that travel to Lismore in July (2019) are those that billet in September (2019), so you can host a student and if your son or daughter wishes to attend the exchange, they have already formed a bond with their host sister or brother,” Michella said.
As part of the exchange, students spend time visiting local schools and participate in a Bamboo English class, which is a learning day for students aged four to six. High school students take these little ones under their wing, teaching them English by talking about Australian animals and objects, and playing games.
Participating students will also meet the Mayor of Yamato Takada and visit historic sites including the Tōdai-ji Temple in Nara (housing one of the largest wooden Buddahs in the world) as well as rice paddy terraces in Inabuchi.
Students will also have the opportunity to stay overnight in Hiromshima and visit some of its most famous monuments including the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum as well as participate in traditional Japanese cultural experiences.
“Visiting Hiroshima is a moving cultural learning experience and provides the students with an extraordinary insight into this historic tragedy,” Michella said.
“The Japanese are very compassionate in the way they memorialise the event. I have never seen any student walk away unchanged by the experience – it is something quite extraordinary to witness.
“Students will also get to enjoy traditional tea ceremonies and dance presentations, ikebana demonstrations and much more. And of course the food is an experience in itself – everywhere you go!”
The cost is under $2000 and students must attend three information sessions prior to the trip.
Applications for the 2019 Sister City Student Exchange Program close on Friday, 24 May 2019.
Source: Lismore City Council
Featured Image: Visit the Itsukushima Shrine and Miyajima Island in Hiroshima as part of the Sister City Student Exchange Program.