Students recall term in Japan

February 24, 2020

In Term 4, 2019 two Year 10 students were fortunate to have the experience of a lifetime after being chosen to spend a full term as exchange students in Japan.

Eden Revell and Sam Tilley were selected to study at Linden Hall School in Fukuoka, on the south-western island of Kyushu.

They were chosen as part of a exchange program which has been running between St Patrick’s College and Linden Hall for several years.

Upon their return to Ballarat in 2020 each boy has written an article reflecting on their experience and we are delighted to be able to share them below:

Eden Revell’s article

The school exchange held last year to Linden Hall was one of the highlights of my time at St Patrick’s College so far.

I was offered a rare opportunity to be immersed in a Japanese lifestyle, culture, and a different school life that I hadn’t partaken in before.

I was happy to know that I would have a fellow St Pat’s boy going through the same experience as I was.

Throughout the duration of our time at Linden Hall, Sam and I participated in a wide range of cultural activities such as participating in the Linden Hall festival during our first week, a wooden boat tour along the Yanagawa rivers, cooking traditional Japanese foods, the annual rice harvest and tea ceremonies every second weekend.

Many disciplines were presented to us over our stay at Linden Hall. These include study periods, various traditional sports and ceremonies that contained a large range of rules that must be focused on. I found a large interest in both kanji writing and Tea ceremonies where the direction and technique of every movement must be precise and executed correctly.

Every weekend was a chance to get out of the dormitories and experience something new. We were taken out by our friends to a variety of popular places such as Karaoke and Round one which is an arcade and sporting venue, followed by many opportunities to test our ever-improving Japanese skills.

I would like to thank Mrs McIntyre and Mr Hill for organising such a life-changing experience and I encourage this year’s students to push themselves to make the most of the many experiences offered by St Pat’s.

Sam Tilley’s article

My school exchange and trip to Linden Hall in Japan last year was one of the highlights of my time at St Patrick’s College so far. I am very grateful for this opportunity I was given, as I experienced a different way of living and studying, was immersed in and learnt all about Japanese culture, improved my Japanese skills, made lots of friends and had a great time away from home for ten weeks.

Eden and I participated in many cultural activities while staying at Linden Hall in Fukuoka. Most notably, rice harvesting with elementary school students, tea ceremonies every second Saturday, the Linden Hall festival during our first week there, a wooden river boat cruise, cooking traditional Japanese foods, visiting and praying at shrines and many more.

The tea ceremonies were especially interesting because of the precise method that must be followed. I found it quite fascinating how every little detail matters so much; the direction your bowl faces at a certain time, how many times and which direction you must turn your bowl.

This discipline is seen in most aspects of the Japanese lifestyle that I experienced at Linden Hall. Their schedule is followed meticulously, their lines are always straight, everyone has a spot in the cafeteria at lunch time. I found that I adopted this discipline to some extent and can now apply it to my schooling at St Pat’s and my life outside school.

I also forged lasting friendships with students from Linden Hall and still keep in contact with a certain few. I created many memories that I will never forget and I would strongly advise anyone interested to do this exchange, as it was truly life changing.