Each year, TCJ holds an exchange program with a public junior high school.
On Friday November 4, it was the turn of the first-year students of Shimura Daini Junior High School in Itabashi Ward, Tokyo.
From TCJ, six international students from Myanmar, the U.S., China, Vietnam, Belgium, and the Netherlands participated in this year's event.
When they arrived at the school, they first went to the principal's office to greet the principal.
They introduced themselves a little nervously and answered questions from the principal.
Before the class started, representatives from each class came to pick up the international students in the waiting room and guide them to the classroom one by one. The freshmen looked nervous, but some of them even introduced themselves in English!
Shimura Daini Junior High School has a total of three seventh grade (first year of junior high school) classes, with about 35 students per class. The international students were placed in pairs in one class, and one by one they gave a presentation about their own country, using pictures they had prepared in advance. It was the first time for them to present in Japanese in front of a large audience, but they all prepared well and delivered excellent speeches. It was very impressive to see the freshmen listening to the students' speeches and taking notes earnestly.
The presentations were followed by a Q&A session. At first most of them hesitated, but after the first question, the next one followed and so on. The freshmen asked many questions about the students' countries they had researched about as part of their studies. They also asked the guests about how they felt about coming to Japan, such as what they had trouble with after arriving in Japan, what surprised them, and what was different from their own country.
In total, the TCJ students toured 3 classes that day. In the beginning they were very nervous, but later on they got used to it and performed the best in the last class!
Due to the current situation, the students were not able to eat school lunch together this time. However, all of them became more relaxed over time, and seemed to enjoy the conversation. When it was time to say goodbye, the TCJ students were sent off by the freshmen with a big applause.
The next exchange will be held in February with a junior high school in Kokubunji. TCJ hopes to continue to actively host these exchanges in the future!