Japanese Exchange Students Spend a Week Exploring Traverse City

All the way from Koka, Japan, six students and two teachers have the opportunity to experience everything that northern Michigan has to offer.

Traverse City West Middle School student Christian Henry says the experience will, “Build a better relationship with people outside of America and experience new things.”

As well as breaking barriers and learning from someone new. Henry says, “We’ve shown him a ton of new things that he ends up really enjoying and it’s fun to see how someone new can experience these things.”

Henry’s exchange student Satoshi Ozawa says, “This city is very fun, I like everything in this city.”

During the week the students will taste the exquisite American cuisine:

Riley Brown, eighth grader at Traverse City West Middle School, says “What’s your favorite [food]?

Brown’s exchange student Rua Nishimori replies, “Hamburger!”

They also met the mayor of Traverse City and slid around something northern Michigan is well known for:

Nishimori says, “I like snow.”

Brown replies, “You like the snow? You like it here?

Nishimori replies, yes!

Ainsley Bielman, also hosting an exchange student this week, says, “Just getting to show her all around the city. It’s just so cool getting to show off where we’re from.”

It’s an experience, Marci Perthes, West Middle School Coordinator, says will opens doors for students from both places. “It’s amazing what they get out of that week… they learn about other cultures, they learn about themselves, learn how to put themselves out there and to just be vulnerable to try new things, learning how to communicate without the language because I know that’s a big fear that they have.”

Building friendships and making memories that will last a life time.

Cate Melcher, eight grader West Middle School, says, ”I’d love to explore more of the world and see how other people live and what their normal is.”

“It opens my eyes,” says Perthes, “To students and communities desire to want to be a part of something international and a part different cultures.”

In February, the students from Traverse City will be visiting Japan for a week to experience their culture.

Categories: Michigan This Morning