Campbell River student Sylvain Barbot (second from right) has been living and studying in Chigasaki

Local students living and studying in Japan

Have you ever dreamt of traveling to the other side of the planet?

Hunter Korol and Sylvain Barbot are two fortunate Campbell River students who are currently living in Japan. Korol is living in Campbell River’s sister city, Ishikari, through the Campbell River Twinning Society, while Barbot is staying in Chigasaki through a Rotary Youth Exchange.

Both have been in Japan since late last year and have been enjoying their time there. Both Korol and Barbot said they would recommend doing an exchange to everyone.

“I think that it’s very important to not just see other cultures but to be immersed in and live in another culture,” says Korol.

When asked about the differences between schools in Canada and Japan, they both said they prefer the Canadian school system.

In Japan, students are in 12 classes that rotate each day during 45-minute periods and students are required to wear uniforms. Occasionally, tests get scheduled for weekends since there isn’t enough time in class.

Barbot explained his opinion saying: “I’ve decided I like the Canadian school system a lot better because it’s all hands on … In Canada, there are a lot more electives [and] in science, you do so many experiments you don’t get to do in Japan.”

After school, most students are part of a club, which will run from around 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Korol is a part of the Kendo club. He says he is glad that he chose to join that club since “[they] have Sundays free, [as] most sports clubs do not have free days.”

Aside from how exhausting school can be, both Korol and Barbot spoke very positively about their time in Japan so far.

Barbot believes that “Japan is a wonderful place that everyone should at least visit at some point in their life. It’s unique as a country, very technologically advanced, while keeping to their traditions and older culture”