Welcome back Ibaraki

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Natsumi puts the finishing touches on her boomerang

Natsumi puts the finishing touches on her boomerang

A delegation of students and teachers from the College’s sister school in Ibaraki, Japan has returned to Beaconhills for the first time since the devastating earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident which affected the region in 2011.

The excited group of students were guests at a welcome lunch on Monday and has a full week of activities including boomerang-making and visits to Healesville Sanctuary and Phillip Island.

Students Yuka and Yoshimichi said they had never travelled overseas and were looking forward to seeing some Australian animals at Healesville, particularly koalas.

Yuka said she enjoyed shopping with her host family on the weekend and was finding the food “very different”.

Pakenham Campus’ Head of Japanese, Yuki Nagashima, said the 2011 event had drawn the two sister schools closer together, with a group of Beaconhills students due to travel to Ibaraki in September.

Ibaraki students enjoy a session of Australian song and dance

Ibaraki students enjoy a session of Australian song and dance

“I think the students and their families appreciate the friendship we have forged between the two schools,” Mr Nagashima said.

“The Beaconhills community has been very supportive of our exchange programs for so long and this year has been no different. Families have welcomed the students into their homes, some even hosting two students!”

He said one of the Ibaraki teachers commented on how beautiful the campus had become with the new buildings. He visited the Pakenham Campus 15 years ago.