Students’ report on Japanese exchange

February 10, 2019

Each year St Patrick’s College provides the opportunity for Year 10 students to spend term 4 on exchange in Japan. Those fortunate enough to be chosen to attend spend the term studying at Linden Hall College in Fukuoka, constantly improving their Japanese skills and learning a new culture and way of life.

In 2018, two SPC students, Nigel Koot and Mathew Wilken, were selected for this once in a lifetime experience and have provided the following summaries of their time in Japan.

Nigel Koot’s report

Greetings to all, my name is Nigel Koot.

In the previous months Matt and I were very lucky to have been to Japan for an exchange.

We were warmly welcomed by Linden Hall High School, who graciously took us in.

Furthermore, our time in Japan is indescribable by words alone.

Though we were located away from the action of main land Japan, the city of Fuokuoka located on Kyushu was alone able to satisfy my expectations and dreams of what Japan looked and felt like.

Thus, it is safe to conclude that Japan is a wondrous country full of rich culture and deep traditions, with respect at the pinnacle of the foundational pillars of Japanese ethics.

I have learnt and experienced most of that culture first-hand as we were thrown into a world of self-responsibility and independence.

Finally, I would like to talk about school in Japan. I’ve no words to describe how hard students worked in Japan, they are the most diligent type of people I’ve ever seen. Due to their passion in their school work in order, to achieve their aspirations and dreams. I can say that I have not worked this hard ever both in schoolwork and on my Japanese skills.

I cannot even describe my gratitude towards those who supported to pursue this incredible feat, both in Australia and in Japan.

I would like to give special thanks to Don Landrigan, teachers, our dormitory parents, and the students for making our trip a wondrous experience longed to be remembered, and a final thanks Mr Hill, Mrs McIntyre, and my parents for making this trip possible. With these few words I strongly encourage those who are pursuing Japanese to participate on this trip. I will be visiting again very soon and until then -‘Goodbye Japan’.

Report by Mathew Wilken

I had a great time overall and would like to thank the staff at both schools for allowing Nigel and I for such a once in a lifetime opportunity.

First arriving in Japan, I found myself feeling nervous as it felt so different and the dormitory master didn’t seem to speak much English.

We had lunch and fell asleep due to the lack of sleep on the plane.

That weekend the school had a festival held in its honour which was fun and gave us time to bond with the students.

After another two weeks I finally felt like I was getting used to this new lifestyle.

The kids in our class were the shyest, so we were told by a teacher, and it really seemed that way.

We dedicated most of our time on the weekends exploring the town we were staying in and the nearby city, Tenjin.

About half way through we started to create strong bonds with the other kids from our school and we went to Karaoke and ate lunch in the city with some of them.

At Linden Hall we learnt new things in our English classes and a lot in our Japanese class. We formed good friendships with our teachers more regarding them as friends over teachers.

There was a lot of new things we experienced such as many different foods and new cultural opportunities such as making green tea the traditional way.

It was overall such a marvellous experience being able to meet new people and see things that I would never see without this chance being granted.