ROBS Journalism students write, edit, design, and produce The Raider Review, a quarterly publication distributed school-wide. In the latest issue, staff writer Amanda Brantley recounts the visit of five students from Chiba City, Japan. ROBS is the only Houston school to participate in an exchange program with our Japanese Sister City.
Japanese Exchange Program
ROBS participates in an annual exchange program with Houston’s sister city: Chiba, Japan. This year, it was Chiba’s turn to send several exchange students to experience American school and culture. Some ROBS students had the pleasure of hosting these students.
For the first two weeks of school, we had the pleasure of hosting exchange students from Chiba City, Japan.
Chiba City is the capital of the Chiba Prefecture, which is east of Tokyo. Five students and one chaperone stayed with host families from ROBS as part of the exchange program organized by the Japan-America Society of Houston, or JASH.
The students arrived the Friday before school started and took trips all around Houston, visiting NASA, the Houston Food Bank, City Hall, and an Astros game. They were introduced to many Texan cultures and traditions such as Tex-Mex, barbeque, American hamburgers, and the August heat.
The students loved astronaut ice cream as well as the Astros souvenirs!
The exchange program was also an opportunity for host families to learn about Japanese culture. At the farewell party, the students performed the traditional dance the Yosakoi Soran. Anna Guerrini ‘21 hosted Chihiro, a Japanese student. “I had a great time with [my] Japanese exchange student. She was so kind as well as funny. We got over the language barrier pretty quickly, and that made it all the more enjoyable. Along with doing planned [activities] such as going to NASA and the Houston Food Bank with the other students, our family went to the Art Car Museum, The Houston Zoo, and our swim club. It was a wonderful experience that I will never forget!” Guerrini said.
Yuri stayed with the Katz family during her stay. “I learned friendship beyond the country. At first, it was difficult because I couldn’t understand the language, but it was fun to communicate with everyone,” she said.
The students also participated in ROBS activities like Chapel. They experienced their first Spanish classes and got to know their host families closely.
I participated in the exchange program as a host family, and I can say that it was an incredible experience. Sharing your city with someone from a country immensely different from your own enables you to see your own city through new eyes.
It is truly a gift to learn about other cultures and know people from halfway across the world.
Amanda Brantley is a Raider Review staff writer. Click here to read the latest issue of Raider Review.