Recently, two students who were on Short Term Echange Programme sopke at our club meeting
A STEP AHEAD
Rtn. Adrian Ramsden, a member of club and District 1285 Youth Exchange Officer brought and introduced two exchange students at our meeting on 14th August. After lunch Yuyu from Japan introduced herself and Lily Beasley from Hazel Grove, Cheshire, UK spoke about her experiences.
Good afternoon, my name is Yuyu Hayashi and I live in Wakayama, Osaka Japan.
Thank you for inviting me to your meeting. I bring greetings from the Rotary Club of Wakayama.
Thank you for inviting me to your meeting and giving us a lovely lunch.
My name is Lily Beasley, I am sixteen years old and I live in Hazel Grove and go to Alderley Edge School for Girls. I have just finished my GCSEs and will be getting my exam results next Thursday!
Two or three years ago I thought it would be good to use the extended summer holiday after my GCSEs to go on an exchange visit of some kind. I began studying Korean as a hobby and thought I would like to visit Korea. My parents thought that, maybe I could do this independently.
The Rotary STEP (Short Term Exchange Programme) process appealed to us because we didn’t have contacts in Japan or Korea, but we knew about Rotary and we knew that as a worldwide organisation it had youth cultural programmes. We felt that Rotary would provide a secure background to any exchange for both me and my fellow exchanger.
My first choice was Korea, but that opportunity did not arise, however, a trip to Japan and another to China did. I am interested in learning languages and have been studying Latin and German for many years at school. I thought that oriental languages would be exciting and interesting to study.
In the beginning, the jet lag was difficult because I was going to school with Yuyu for the first week. The lessons were difficult, as you might expect, and I got quite tired towards the end of my visit.
I was immersed in the life of a Japanese family, not the tourist experience I would have had on a holiday. I feel that I have made really good friends and I know a lot more about Japan, its culture and traditions.
The biggest surprise was that children are expected to go to school in their short (4 weeks) summer vacation and they have masses of homework to do during the holidays.
The food was fantastic. I barely scratched the surface of Japanese culture. I would love to go back to Japan and learn more about the country, the people and their culture.
It was an opportunity that allowed me to broaden my outlook and I feel that my confidence has grown. I would recommend an exchange trip to anybody
I like to study oriental languages at University and I believe that STEP has helped me achieve that by improving my understanding of another culture.
Finally I would like to thank The Rotary Club of Poynton for sponsoring me and I would especially like to thank Adrian Ramsden for his encouragement and support.