A homestay experience for Japanese and Indon students

Student exchange programmes are described as the most common intercultural exercise among schools and colleges.

Aug 26, 2015

By Percy D’ Cruz
Student exchange programmes are described as the most common intercultural exercise among schools and colleges. In this respect, St Francis Institution (SFI) has set a new benchmark, hosting a group of 26 Japanese and Indonesian students from educational institutions in Kagoshima, Kirishima and Palembang at one time, with a five-day local home stay experience.

The participants included students from the Kagoshima Gyokuryuu High School, Tsurumaru High School, Ishikidai Junior High School, Juotukuji Junior High School, Wado Junior High School, Fuzoku Junior High School, Shugakukan Junior High School, Kokubu Minami Middle School, Maizuru Middle School, Hayato Middle School, Kagoshima Daiichi Middle School, Kajiki High School and Palembang’s SMA Xaverius.

SFI Homestay programme co-ordinator, Yong Kheng Kwang, noted that the school’s student exchange and home stay programme with the Japanese students has been an ongoing affair since 1989. However, the exchange and home stay programmes with students from Palembang was only initiated in 2010.

SFI Brother Director, Bro Ambrose Loke, explained that the student exchange programme is aimed at cultivating understanding, co-operation and networking among the young students, coupled with ample opportunities to get first hand information about the state’s various communities, heritage, rich history and cultural traditions.

The foreign students, accompanied by local students, had a full five-day programme of activities, both in and out of school, foster-homes and visits. These included a Melaka River cruise, trishaw rides and visits to the notable historical sites and landmarks in the city, cultural and traditional games and crafts presentations and cultural shows, tour of the Famosa Safari and Jungle Trail in Alor Gajah, as well as night outings and shopping with host families.

Another aspect the foreign students and their local counterparts savoured most was the wide array of food readily available the whole day and night at public food courts and hawker sites all over town. This wide food selection was also served at the farewell dinner hosted by SFI school.

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