CHI Group Homestay Program students from Miyazaki, Japan are having a wonderful time visiting Olympia, WA. In addition to seeing the beautiful cherry blossoms currently in bloom, the group spent time shadowing American teenagers, volunteering in the community and visiting the State Capitol. They also toured a local elementary school, visited a cider mill and even had time for a little bowling.
Group Homestay students from Japan recently took some time to visit firefighters at the Yuba City (CA) Fire Station. The students enjoyed meeting local firefighters and getting to see a fire truck in person.
A big thank you to the crew of the Yuba City Fire Station for spending some time with our exchange students! It was an exciting experience that they won’t soon forget!
Recently Japanese Group Homestay students spent a week visiting Ridgecrest, California. The group spent the majority of their time visiting the students from James Monroe Junior High School. They had a wonderful time sharing their culture and getting to know one another.
At the end of July, CHI co-founders Tom and Lilka Areton visited Sacramento, CA to take part in a special celebration. This year is the 30th anniversary of Keiwa High School’s participation in CHI’s Group Homestay program. Keiwa students have traveled to Academic Program Administrator Cathy Johnson’s territory in the Sacramento area every year since 1982. This makes Keiwa by far CHI’s longest tenured Group Homestay partner school.
Keiwa was founded in 1968 in Niigata, a city of about 800,000 on Japan’s west coast about 200 miles outside Tokyo. The school shares CHI’s belief in the value of international travel and cultural exchange. The staff actively encourages its students to participate in overseas exchange programs, and CHI is proud to be their partner organization of choice in America.
At the celebration in Sacramento, in addition to Tom and Lilka, were Cathy Johnson, many of the Teacher Coordinators who have helped with Keiwa’s group visits over the years, and of course this year’s delegation from Keiwa. In addition, many host families were represented, and one of the event’s highlights was the participation of some past host brothers and sisters who have since grown up and now have children of their own.
It was a memorable evening for everyone involved, and the event was capped by Tom, Lilka, and Cathy presenting this year’s Keiwa teacher chaperone with gifts marking the momentous anniversary. Check out the pictures below from the group’s stay as well as the celebration. And thank you, Keiwa, for being such a loyal and terrific partner. Here’s to another great 30 years together!
The Keiwa group visiting San Francisco.
CHI Teacher Coordinators who have helped with the group through the years
CHI founder Tom Areton and Area Administrator Cathy Johnson presenting the gifts.
Earlier this summer, CHI welcomed twenty-five Japanese exchange students to Los Banos, CA for a one-month stay.
The group visited with local children and spent some time sharing their Japanese culture and teaching the children origami. The group also traveled around the state, visiting the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Old Town Sacramento and San Francisco’s Pier 39.
To top it off, the group was featured in Los Banos’ local newspaper, The Enterprise.
CHI has been helping a group of 9-14 year olds from Japan spend some time in Port Orchard, Washington, a suburb of Seattle, through the CHI Group Homestay Program. The students were recently featured in a story in the local newspaper, the Port Orchard Independent.
The students are from Yellow Hippo English Language School, in Ibaraki Prefecture, just northeast of Tokyo. They got the chance to visit Port Orchard City Hall, and the local officials were very welcoming and accommodating. Highlights of the visit were being able to sit in the back of a police car, and exploring the city council chambers.
The students all had a great time, as did the city officials, and as the article states, the kids brought “bright smiles and a barrage of question to the normally quiet city headquarters.” Thanks to Sugako Akiyma, the school’s English teacher, as well as Erin Aukland, CHI’s own Academic Coordinator, for helping out with this visit.