Adventures in Japan

Year 10 students Jake Barbouttis and Parker Floris recently returned from a visit to Osaka International Owada High School, our sister school in Japan.

Jake and Parker are the first IGS students to have travelled to this school, providing a remarkable opportunity to build on the friendship between the two schools.

During the three-week exchange, the students gained many experiences, had lots of fun, and made lifelong friends.

“I was nervous before going to my first day of school because I didn’t know what to expect, however the people there made us feel very welcome,” Parker said.

Osaka International Owada High School is similar in size to IGS, and as with IGS, sports and co-curricular activities play a big part in school life, which Jake and Parker enjoyed during their stay.

Jake and Parker farewell their new friends

“The homestay aspect was also an interesting part of the experience,” said Jake.

“It was fascinating to see the differences in how Japanese people live as opposed to Australian people.

“It also gave us the opportunity to be completely surrounded by the language.”

Our students also visited surrounding cities, such as Kyoto, Nara and Hiroshima, exploring various temples, parks, museums and more.

Osaka International Owada High School English Teacher Yukie Tatsumi thanked IGS for “sending such lovely students”.

“All of the host families, their friends here and staff members who worked for this exchange program were so glad to be involved in it,” Yukie said.

Yukie explained that although the classes were challenging, it was “a great opportunity for them to expose themselves to the real situation in Japanese”.

Both Jake and Parker agreed that they would strongly recommend other students to take on this opportunity in the future.
“We learned things that we never would have in Australia, had first-time experiences, and made friends for life,” Jake said.

“We hope others can experience what we did in those three weeks.”