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During Ashita-Tomorrow’s annual Visit USA program, Tohoku students stay with the families of American high school students, attend school with their hosts, and experience diversified culture and values.

Spring 2016 Visit USA Program

Horace Mann School (hereinafter as HM) and their students in New York City welcomed Japanese students again this year from April 16th to April 23th, 2016. One student from Kesennuma High School and three from Sendai Ikuei High School, both in Miyagi, stayed with families of Horace Mann School students for one week.

■American high school and family life
With their host brother/sisters, the Japanese students attended classes and club activities, and experienced American family life.

■Sharing the 3.11 experiences
Although five years have passed since the disaster, the people in Tohoku still suffer from the aftermath and related experiences and recovery is halfway. The Japanese students told about their experience, fears, thoughts and hopes. They expressed gratitude for the help from all over the world.

They gave speeches to the students and faculty at both Horace Mann School and Yale University.

■American high school life
Ms. Mami Fujisaki, Ashita-Tomorrow Director and HM teacher, organized this program and hosted the Japanese students. Every morning, Ms. Fujisaki assigned some of her students to take the Japanese students to their classes. She also let the Japanese students experience every part of school life at HM: a bi-weekly school meeting, lunches at a cafeteria, club activities, and others.

While it was quite a challenge to follow such classes as English, chemistry, history, the Japanese students really enjoyed classes. In the Japanese language classes, they helped the HM students on their pronunciation, writing and dialogues.

Small-sized classes, lively discussions among teachers and students, and the HM students’ high motivation to study gave a big impression on the Japanese students.

■American family life
The students had a wonderful and unforgettable time with their host families. The American families welcomed the Japanese students as a member of their own family and let them join in their daily lives. They took the students for sightseeing in Manhattan and to musicals, museums, and sports games. The Japanese students observed the loving parent-child relationships: how the host sisters/brother always show their affection & gratitude to their parents and how they discuss many issues with their parents. This year the weekend celebrated Passover, so some students joined the family dinners and religious ceremonies.

■Yale University life
This year Mr. Vernon Lin hosted the Japanese students’ stay at Yale. He has been this year’s coordinator of the Ashita-Tomorrow Skype Sessions.
After a campus tour, the students gave speeches to Yale students and faculty, followed by reception with the audience over famous New Haven pizza. Kai DuBus and Laurie Wang had the students stay in their dorm rooms and have breakfast in a dorm cafeteria to give them an opportunity to experience college life.

■Now back in Japan
The participants went back to their schoolwork, and also started early morning Ashita-Tomorrow Skype Sessions. They keep in touch with their American friends. They are determined to improve their English and study harder.
Thank you for all who helped make this program possible.

■Horace Mann School
Founded in 1887, it is an independent school in New York City. Noted as a preparatory school for Ivy League colleges, the school also puts emphasis on sports, arts and community services. http://www.horacemann.org/

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