The Campbell River Twinning Society is on the lookout for two senior high school students who want to participate in exchange to Campbell River’s Japanese sister city, Ishikari in 2018.
“The Twinning Societies of Ishikari and Campbell River signed the official Twinning Agreement almost 35 years ago,” said Sue Hall, senior exchange coordinator in an email.
It was two years after the signing that Campbell River students began partaking in exchange. Hundreds of students have gone back and forth.
Right now Carihi students Julie Matsuzawa and Dylan Whitt are on exchange in Ishikari.
Their Japanese counterparts, Ruka Hoshino and Kyoka Imaeda from Ishikari were welcomed to Campbell River back in August and are now studying at Carihi and Timberline respectively.
“I like it here more than Japan,” said Hoshino.
She is enjoying her English Language learning class, her foods class, and most of all, her conditioning P.E. class this semester.
Hoshino is now living with her second host family, but started living with the Hall family, including Carihi student Victoria Hall who just returned from a year of exchange in August.
“She’ll have four or three more host families,” said Hall. When she lived in Japan, she went through 10 different host families.
“I love Japan more than I like it here,” she said. “It’s a sister city relationship so you’re going, and exchanging, and actually living in other people’s homes and doing things that get you out in the community and [you are] just being Japanese,” said Hall.
Students in grades 9 to 11 who are interested in having a similar experience can begin the application process for exchange right now.
The process includes filling out a general information form, writing a short essay, as well as providing two reference letters, and a copy of their most recent report card.
The Twinning Society then reviews the applications and begins conducting their four component interviews. In the end, ideally two students are sponsored and sent to Ishikari after necessary preparations.
“We want any School District No. 72 student who are interested to apply and potentially experience the most wonderful time of their lives,” said Sue.
When reflecting on her exchange, Victoria feels it is really about “connecting and making a Japanese family and friends.”
“That’s what makes it so special, you make friendships that last a lifetime,” she said.
Anyone who wants to learn more about the Campbell River Twinning Society can go to their website, twinningcr.bc.ca.