Japanese Exchange students experience American Culture

Japanese+Students+pose+with+their+MCHS+hosts

Japanese Students pose with their MCHS hosts

Dalin McCully, Feature Reporter

On March 11, students from Japan traveled to Michigan City to experience American culture.

Japanese teacher Mike Tsugawa’s students were hosts to the incoming students for a ten day visit. The students had the opportunity to peer into the social and academic dynamic at MCHS, but may also travel, sightsee, and spend time in accordance with their hosts’ plans.

MCHS is a welcoming ground for people of varying ethnicity and nationalities, with the school already hosting a group of exchange students from multiple countries. The annual tradition encourages cultural acceptance and curiosity from both ends of the spectrum. The Japanese students had the opportunity to meet new people and experience what American culture is truly like. Meanwhile, all MCHS students had the opportunity to warmly greet the exchange students and perhaps relate their academic experiences with one another.

While in America, many exchange students have traveled to Chicago to tour the big city and enjoy a large variety of foods. Others have enjoyed exploring Michigan City, perhaps visiting Lighthouse Mall, or gazing at the sunset over the famous Lighthouse on the shore of Washington Park Beach.  

Ten years ago, Tsugawa used to take groups of students from his classes on trips to Japan every other summer. Eventually, a fellow colleague asked if he could visit him in the United States, brought students with him that following year, and it has been an annual event since then.

Tsugawa says, “It is by far the most important, most meaningful, and to be blunt- coolest thing we do all year, because why on earth else would we be taking this language and studying the culture unless we actually do something with it? And to meet a dozen teenagers who do the exact same things that we do just through a different lense of culture and language, this is exactly what we should be doing. To connect students with students on that level is easily the most important thing we do every year.”  

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