Student Exchange Memories: Finn Jones

The Japanese exchange trip was an experience like no other. Once off the plane, I was thrown straight into the caring arms of the Nakagawa family and straight into Japanese culture. Although daunting and a little awkward at first, staying with my host family soon became incredibly humorous and fascinating, due to my deplorable Japanese. First up we had two weeks of summer holidays. Every morning I would wake up to a hearty breakfast and then set off to explore the surrounding city of Nagoya or to venture further off to places like Kyoto or Tokyo. I experienced weird and wonderful food, visited ages old temples and shrines, and basically just had a real good time.

Obu Higashi High School was awesome. We would ride to school on push bikes, passing rice fields and winding through narrow streets. Class began at 8:25am on the dot, starting with 10 minutes of reading followed by 6-7 classes with 10-minute intervals and a 40-minute break for lunch. I was put in class 2-6, knowing no one and only armed with conversational Japanese. At first, everyone was extremely shy, but after four weeks we all became good friends. Everyone at the school was so friendly and we always received funny hellos and daring English conversations. After school I would normally hang out with Pato, Sally and our new-found friends or watch or participate in after-school clubs.

All in all, this has been the best experience of my life. I will never forget any of it. I made so many good friends, laughed so much, smiled so much, I want to go back! My Japanese has improved incredibly and this trip has even inspired me to do Japanese VCE and to continue on to becoming fluent. It is an amazing place. I highly recommend any trip to Japan.