By Laura Speranza
THERE were plenty of "g'days" and "konichiwas" at Westfields Sports High School on Friday as local students met visiting
teens from Japan.
Around 750 pupils from Kasukabe Kyoei High School in Tokyo visited the Fairfield West school last week, spending the day
barbecueing and bush dancing with local students.
But it wasn't just the visitors who got a taste of new culture.
Westfields Sports High School students also took part in a traditional Japanese gift-giving cerenony. Each local
student recieved an individual presents from Japan.
The Japanese students were wach giveb a Westfields Sports cap in return.
Year 11 student Sean Ireland caught up with friends he made during an 11-month stay in Tokyo as an exchange student
at Kasukabe Kyoei High School last year.
Sean, who began studying Japanese at Westfields several years ago, said being an exchange student helped improve his language skills.
"I was thrown into a home-stay situation where I had to learn Japanese," Sean, 18, said. " It was tough but my Japanese had
improved by the time I got home."
He is returning to Japan in three weeks for a holiday.
Japanese student Mao Iway, 16, said she enjoyed spending the day at Westfields because it was a change to learn more about
life in Australia.
Mao said she was looking forward to seeing the Opera House, Harbour Bridge and the Blue Mountains during her one week stay
Teacher Heather Clarke said the school has been hosting students from Japan since 1997.
Welcome visitors: Students from Westfields Sports High School teach the Japanese visitors a traditional bush
dance (above). left, Mao Iwai and Sean Ireland compare student life in Japan and Australia.
With thanks to
Wednesday 2nd November 2005