Activities for International Students

Tokorozawa Kita High School Visit 2017

Ashburton College has been hosting students from our sister school Tokorozawa Kita High School from Saitama Prefecture, Japan, for twenty-one years now. This year thirty “Ichinensei”, or first year students, have spent eleven homestay nights with College students and their families.  Two teachers accompanied the group.

During their stay in Ashburton, the group spent a number of days in classes and also made visits to Hampstead School (pictured above), Tekapo, the University of Canterbury and Rosebank Rest Home.  At Hampstead School and Rosebank the students performed some traditional items, followed by interaction in classes and with the elderly.  At Tekapo the students went snow sliding, ice skating and spent time in the hot pools.  Ice-creams at Geraldine on the way home capped off a fun day!

(Pictured above): Members of the group at Tekapo Ice Skating rink

(Pictured below): The ‘must do’ photo in front of the Church of the Good Shepherd, Tekapo.

The stay was a very busy time for the Tokorozawa students, on top of using their English skills throughout.  This group is equivalent to our Year 11, so they are only in their fourth year of learning English – yet they are able to communicate well and even their own teachers on tour gave instructions and communicated in English!  The group has found the New Zealand accent difficult, as American English is the ‘norm’ taught in Japanese schools.  However, they have quickly adapted and made new friends with ease.

As well as the various activities the group do as a whole, all thirty would agree that the homestay experience is the best part of their time in New Zealand.  The College thanks the homestay families for their generosity and fun experience afforded our Tokorozawa Kita guests.  Many lasting friendships are made with these visits and, in September this year, another group of Ashburton College students will visit Tokorozawa Kita, thus strengthening the relationships made.

The students arrived in Ashburton rather shy and apprehensive about what they would find here, and how they would manage to communicate, but the open and friendly nature of our College students soon had the visitors feeling at ease.

Thank you to Tokorozawa Kita for a fun visit.  We hope to see some of you again in the future.