Japanese Exchange 2019
by Jemma Little and Kelsey Burge
On the first day of the summer holidays a group of 10 Wavell students from Years 9 and 10 were lucky enough to have the opportunity to have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make new friends and learn about new cultures. The Wavell students (Kelsey, Jemma, Megan, Aisha, Sam, Santiago, Rhiann, Abby, Bradley and Heather) spent four days with girls from Shoei High School, giving them tours of British landmarks and experiences as well as being taught about Japanese life.
On day one we visited Universal’s Harry Potter Studios in Watford. We got to see the wonders behind the making of the Harry Potter films, the designs of our favourite characters in progress and the newest attraction Gringott’s Bank. It was an amazing first day getting to know all the girls, and by the time we got home we were so full of "butter beer" and Japanese sweets we almost turned into Marge Dursley after Harry turned her into a balloon.
We spent Thursday and Friday at the University of Winchester with the girls. We tried more of their favourite Japanese sweets and discussed British fashion trends. Mr Panons gave us an exciting demonstration of the sport Boccia, where we teamed up against the Shoei girls. We also picked our side of the biggest English debate – Marmite, love it or hate it. Peter and Mandy from the University were helpful and welcoming, making for a lovely few days.
On our fourth and final day we went to Bath, where we walked around the beautiful town for some shopping, and then visited the Roman Baths themselves. Here we learnt all about the Romans through our digital tour guides. After 3 days of smooth sailing we knew something was bound to go wrong and boy were we right. Due to the extremely hot weather our coach overheated and we were left standing outside for an hour waiting for another coach to show up. But we made the most of it. We all shared whatever food and drinks we had and Aisha, Abby, Heather and Megan taught the Shoei girls the cup song. When the cavalry arrived we boarded the coach to see Stonehenge. Many of the girls were fascinated. After an eventful day we drove back to University of Winchester where we said our emotional goodbyes.
Those four days will forever be special to us. We made friends for life, tried new foods, learnt about Japanese culture.
On behalf of all the students we would like to thank Mr. Greaves, Miss Cossburn and Mr Panons, as well as all the staff from the University of Winchester and Shoei for a trip we will never forget!