Interacting with exchange students from Japan is always a program highlight for our Japanese Plus students. So Saturday, November 5, was an exciting day, when our group hosted 23 high school students from Okinawa visiting DC on a Kakehashi exchange program, facilitated by Youth For Understanding. This was our third time hosting a Kakehashi exchange, but our first group of high school students (last year we enjoyed two university student groups).
First, our Okinawan visitors used power point to share information about their school and key features of Okinawan history and culture. Our students learned that Okinawa has a distinctive history, language, and culture, in addition to its identity as a prefecture of Japan. Then two of the visiting students put on an impressive martial arts demonstration. The Japanese presentation was followed by small group discussions in English and Japanese, and a quick game of Concentration – a way for all students to practice their language and intercultural communication skills. Then it was DC’s turn to share an aspect of local culture – teaching the Cha Cha Slide. Now that was fun!
Once the morning program was ended, the whole group traveled to Columbia Heights for lunch at Z-Burger. That’s when the real communication and bonding could begin! Thanks to our partners at Youth For Understanding for again including Globalize DC’s Japanese Plus program in this cool cross-cultural opportunity.