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PROSERPINE State High School (PSHS) warmly welcomed 20 students from its sister school, Asaka-Nishi High School, in Japan, as part of its student exchange program.

The group of students and two teachers, Tsutomu Kozasa and Keijirou Nakamura, arrived on Saturday, July 22, and left Proserpine for Brisbane, on Tuesday, August 1.

The year 10 and 11 Japanese students were paired up with host families, in Proserpine, and buddies at school.

While not the most ideal weather during their visit, the students were treated to a day out on the water with Ocean Rafting and a visit to the Proserpine Museum, as well as fun activities at PSHS including Indigenous Culture Day and cooking.

Fourteen-year-old Grade Nine student Aisling Barrett was a school buddy for the week.

Asaka-Nishi High School Grade 10 student Aoi Nakamura was paired up with Miss Barrett, the two attended classes together and hung out during break time.

Miss Barrett took Japanese as an elective at the beginning of the year, allowing her to chat with Miss Nakamura in her language.

“I’m pretty good at Japanese, we did speak in English, but I was able to have Japanese conversations with her. I was able to ask her how she was and talk about food and stuff in Japanese,” Miss Barrett said.

“She had to do a report on Australian slang, so I got to teach her some of our slang like ‘G’day mate’ and instead of saying afternoon you say ‘arvo’, and she thought ‘G’day mate’ was pretty funny so she kept saying it.”

Miss Barrett said playing soccer with her school friends and their buddies was very special to her.

“My favourite part was when we were playing HPE (Health and Physical Education) together, my best friend also had a buddy, and my buddy and her buddy were actually very good at soccer – they were scoring goals and doing very good at goalie.

“It was actually very cool because they had really good teamwork skills, so that was actually very special to me to actually play soccer with them.”

Miss Barret hopes to take part in the exchange program again next year and visit Japan.

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