Saying “Sayonara” to the Exchange Students

Bryan Phan, Staff Writer

   Melodious tunes were played in front of the library by the West High Entertainment Unit as the band, and the drum major Julie Wang (12) performed a medley of the group’s competition songs before a group of smiling Japanese exchange students. Although the performance marked the end of the exchange students’ visit, most of them, for the past few weeks, they seemed happy about having been amongst West High students learning about the U.S. culture and observing high school life. Over the past weeks, these exchange students have been socializing and developing friendships with Mr. Kadono’s Japanese class students.

    Although the idea of traveling miles away from home to an unfamiliar country may seem scary, all the exchange students gladly met their new acquaintances and explored the campus life on West High. David Kim (11) thought “the exhange students from Japan were brave and cool because they ventured into a new high school and blended in with other people that are in many ways different.”  Meanwhile, other students like Mathew Kurashige (12) admired the Japanese students’ skills and culture. “The Japanese calligraphy they made for us was extremely beautiful,” complimented Mathew.

   Reflecting on the entire experience Brett Sakaguchi (12) said, “Although there was a language barrier it was fun and memorable experience having Japanese exchange students come to West High and is something I won’t forget.”