A GROUP of Japanese students received a unique Tasmanian experience when they visited Hobart in late July as part of the Hobart-Yaizu Sister City relationship.
Coming from various schools in Yaizu, Japan, the 12 students visited the state for six-days under the care of a number of Hobart host families from St Mary’s, St Virgil’s and Mount Carmel colleges.
Hobart Lord Mayor Sue Hickey said the schools provided a taste of Australian college life by including the international students in regular classroom activities.
“The students had the opportunity to get involved in the sporting, social and cultural activities of their host families,” she said.
“The host students provided a homestay experience so the visiting students could gain an idea of life as a typical Australian experience.”
Alderman Hickey personally welcomed the students, their accompanying teacher and tour guide at a reception on Thursday 28 July, which included a tour of the historic Town Hall.
They also got the chance to get up close and personal with the Tasmanian devil and other Australian wildlife during a visit to the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary.
Council’s Community, Culture and Events Committee chairman, Alderman Peter Sexton, said it was “vitally important” for Hobart students to develop an understanding of other cultures and languages.
“The success of the program demonstrates the commitment of the active Hobart-Yaizu Cities Community Committee members and local schools,” he said.
“The City of Hobart is proud to be part of a program that offers both visiting and local students a rich cultural experience that leads to life-long friendships.”
The City of Hobart is planning a 40-year Hobart-Yaizu sister-city anniversary celebration in February 2017, which will include a delegation of approximately 30 people from Yaizu.
Caption: The Japanese exchange students with their hosts during a visit to Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary.