On July 22, twenty-six students left Narita and travelled to Perth, Australia. Most of the students were on the 3-week homestay program. Wayo’s homestay program is very special for many reasons, but two reasons in particular make it unique.
First, our school has three excellent sister schools in Perth. They are well-known as the finest schools in Western Australia. All of the homestay families have students in these schools. So every home has a teenage daughter in the home and of course, this makes the experience very enjoyable and educational. Many schools in Japan offer homestay programs abroad, but not many have homestay families chosen only from the sister school families. This also means that the teachers at the sister school know the families well and can trust that they can provide a safe and secure environment.
The second amazing point about Wayo’s program is that it is twenty years old. This means that our teachers know the Australian teachers very well. This means that trust and respect have grown to make a very cooperative and warm system of exchange.
So, for about 3 weeks, 22 students were staying at the Australian students’ homes, attending class with the host sister, and joining in many of the different, but exciting school events. Some of the events included a fashion show, sports day, Purple for Charity Day, and a farewell party. There were also excursions to the zoo, the seaside, historical sites, and a market area. On the weekends, the students spent time with the host families who kindly took them to many interesting places as well.
So many wonderful memories were made. The day that the Wayo students had to leave Perth was so very emotional. All the girls, both Japanese and Australian were crying and so sad to say good-bye. They had become such good friends in so short a time. They will be friends for a very long time.