KIA(Koshigaya International Association)

My Experiences in AUSTRALIA

2017(the 29th) Koshigaya Junior High Youth Delegation

Glittering 12days

Koshigaya Eishin Junior High School 2nd Grade Miyuka Hirano

To begin with, I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation the people for giving me the opportunity to have precious experiences. I could spend these glittering 12 days with good support.

Miyuka Hirano

I had many good experiences of which 3, performance, welcome party and host family, were the best memories. We 15 members, who were from different schools and quite unfamiliar with each other, did practice “Soran Bushi” 5 times. So the performance was very successful and satisfactory. Australian people are very cheerful and friendly, so we could enjoy performances by ourselves.

I could communicate not only with the host family, but also with many other people. At first stage I was at a loss how to understand English, but thanks to host family’s kind support, I managed to communicate with them.

In the week end, the host family took me to the Blue Mountain, the world heritage and the Luna Park in Sydney. In the Blue Mountain, I was very much impressed by the magnificent nature that I never experienced in Japan. In the Luna Park, I enjoyed with elder brother and elder sister. I spent pleasant time with host family so much that I want to go back there soon. On the last day, when I hugged my host family and said “so long”, I cried with endless tear.

During my stay there, I could recognize good aspects of Japan, one of which is food. My dream is to become an English teacher. Many kinds of experiences which I had in Australia this time, will be very much useful for me in the future. In order to repay the people for good support extended to me, I would like to make an every effort to live an active life.

Thanks to “Koshigaya Junior High Delegation Program 2017”

Shin-ei Junior High School 2nd Grade Kodai Hirayama

This year I took part in Koshigaya Junior High School Delegation Program and visited Campbelltown in Australia from July 26th till August 6th. I left Koshigaya with a big suitcase and big anxiety. I was not sure whether I could communicate with my host family well enough. But at the same time, I was anxious to make sure, with my own eyes and senses, cultural differences between Japan and Australia, its land features, geography etc. In addition, I wanted to know how effective my English I had learned at school was.

On arriving in Australia, and hearing the English spoken there, I strongly felt I was in a faraway country. To me, even the way the wind was blowing there seemed to be different.

In the evening my host family, whom I could not get in contact with well while in Japan, came to our gathering place with a big smile. Seeing their friendly and pleasant smile, all of my worry disappeared on the spot. In the friendly atmosphere I could throw off my reserve and enjoy communication with them from the very first day.

Kodai Hirayama

Within my vocabulary, I was able to make myself understood, and could find my listening ability working all right. During my stay I had a chance to make a phone call to my family in Japan. Then I played the role of an interpreter, and I was pleased to find the improvement of my English ability.

Several times I went shopping with the family, and found the prices of commodities in Australia were much higher than those in Japan. Comic books I had been reading in Japan were about three times as expensive as those in Japan. I found many Japanese companies doing their business there, and I strongly felt English ability would be more and more required.

Later, I had a chance to visit Thomas Acres Public School. The spacious and clean first-story school building was very impressive. There we demonstrated our performance in front of about 500 students. I was a little shocked because the reaction of the students was, against our expectation, not so good. And then, when we saw the class, the students were making something like motor-driven robot with ROGO controlled through a tablet. We were allowed to join the work. I thought we could learn with interest if the lesson like that was adopted in the class in Japan, too.

There was a second chance for us to perform when a welcome party was held for us. Mayor, those concerned Campbelltown-Koshigaya Sister Cities Association and host families got together there, and we were very nervous. Anyway we could finish our performance without any failure. During the chattering session after that we could enjoy a lot of pleasant conversation and took some photos with the mayor.

Now I am very thankful that I was given the chance to be a member of the delegation and could have valuable experiences. I would like to make the most of this precious experience in the future.

Thank you again for every kindness and hospitality of those concerned to realize this opportunities.

2016(the 28th) Koshigaya Junior High Youth Delegation

The twelve days kindly supported by many people

Sengendai Junior High school 2nd grade Mina Kanda

On the 27th of July, we left hot and humid Japan, and on the next day, 28th we arrived in Australia in the midst of winter. We were warmly welcomed by the people of Campbelltown-Koshigaya Sister Cities Association.

Mina Kanda

And on the very day we arrived, we were taken to various places such as a zoo, beach, and so on. The vast expanse of Australia was incomparably beautiful and even ordinary private houses looked like ones in a fancy picture. In the evening, we could finally see our host families. I cannot forget the exciting moment when I was given a warm squeezing hug. I felt myself in a deep relief. My host family tried to speak English slowly for me, and thanks to that I could understand some. Thus I was able to get used to the life in Australia smoothly.

Mina Kanda

I was most impressed when we visited Robert Townson School, an integrated elementary, junior and senior high school. First, we got to the elementary school, and there we were welcomed cheerfully, and greeted with “konnichiwa.” They all began to speak in Japanese! I was really surprised. When I heard them speak in Japanese which is by no means a major language, I was filled with emotions and strongly wished to be a better speaker of English so that I could speak with many people.

Then I was impressed when we visited the World War Ⅱ War Memorial. Of course we know Japan is a country where the atomic bombs were dropped, but do you know Australia is a country which suffered repeated air raids by Japanese army more than a hundred times? I got to know about it when I was given the prior training of this program. In the War Memorial I found a marker engraved with the names of those who lost their lives due to the attack, and also the name of the country they fought, JAPAN. When I saw them I felt pain in my chest and could not but swear that we would never repeat war.

On the last evening when I spent with my host family, I gave my message to the dear family. They were pleased with tears. I was filled with emotions thinking back they made effort to understand my humble English, they worried about my health, and they made me laugh, and, in addition, thinking about the fact that we had to be separated the next day I could not help feeling lonely and sad. On the morning of our return trip we bade our farewell to our host families, and then my host mother said, “We will be able to see again soon, please come back with your family.” With this I was moved to tears. The emotion of gratitude and unbearable loneliness kept my tears running down my cheeks. How wonderful a hospitality and kindness they showed me till the last moment!

I owe these satisfying twelve days to those supported this program with selfless contributions. I cannot thank them enough. I will try my best to return part of their kindnesses with what I have learned.

The most precious 12 days

Koshigaya Minami Junior High School 2nd Grade Ran Hiramatsu

On July 27th, 2016, representing Koshigaya city, I started for Australia with two leaders and 14 comrades with expectations and uncertainty. We arrived at Australia in the morning of 28th. What firstly appeared in front of me was blue sky without cloud. I felt chilliness of winter. I was realizing that I came to Australia, when my expectations burst out.

The reason why I participated in this exchange program was firstly to live in Australia for exchanging opinions and secondly to directly touch on the history, the geography, the culture, and thirdly to contribute to strengthen the friendship between Koshigaya and Campbelltown. Furthermore, I wanted to learn native English for further development of my English capability.

Ran Hiramatsu

Just before I met the host  family, I was very much nervous. But as soon as the host family hugged me, the uncertainty disappeared, and after that my satisfactory everyday life started. I could see famous sightseeing places such as Harbor Bridge and Opera House by myself. On holiday, the host family took me to the Blue Mountain, where I could really enjoy the wonderfulness of the grand nature. I could touch on the traditional culture of aborigine, the colonial data building, and the history of Australia. On 7th day, we visited the Robert Townson School, where we made the first performance completed through 5 times training by 15 crew members in Japan. It was very successful, better than expected. I had no confidence in English at first stage, but at the end of 12 days I managed to understand English better than before. 12 days passed like an arrow. It was very sad for me to part from the host family.

Ran Hiramatsu

Through this program, I learned a lot, that is very useful for me, I think he best lesson I learned this time is that if we do our best with confidence, we can surely get good result. Through this program, I met many people; 14 Japanese crews, the host family, and the Campbelltown people. These wonderful experiences are really precious treasures for me. I would like to make the best use of these experiences for my life.

I will appreciate all the people concerned for supporting this program.

2015(the 27th) Koshigaya Junior High Youth Delegation

The treasures I got through this delegation program and my dream for the future

Musashino Junior High 2nd grade Mao Kawanami

To be a tour conductor --- to introduce Japanese tourists to the history of foreign countries, take them to beautiful scenic spots, and make them fascinated with them, that is my dream. What prompted me to join the delegation program this time was my desire to get closer to my dream. Tour conductors are not only required to have English communication skill but also to be well versed in cultural and historical background of the country. The experience I had this time provided me with a good opportunity to have direct contact with a different culture and to try my English. At first I was unable to communicate with my host family because of the stress and the language barrier, but my host family soon began to use easier English for me, which led me to enjoy communication with gestures and broken English and made our relationship smoother. This made me realize that what is necessary first for the realization of our dream is courage.

Mao Kawanami

Through this program I got two treasures. The first one is the fancy encounter with my host family. I was blessed with a very friendly and considerate family. They treated me, a Japanese girl who could speak only a little English, like their real daughter, and they not only drove me to and from the meeting places but took me to the zoo in Sydney, Opera House, Harvard Bridge, or the beach with all of the family members. And they took me to eat out so that I could choose whatever I would like to eat. They also took me to the supermarket and kindly told me the differences in the method of checking out and arranging articles from that of Japan. On the day I left for Japan, all of the family came to see me off early in the morning though it was still cold and dusky, and said to me “Come back again anytime.” When I heard this I felt how precious a time I could have with a wonderful family, and could not help shedding my tears. My memory of the time when my host family took care of me very dearly will remain as my lifelong treasure.

The second treasure is the bonds with the 15 members of the delegation. We built up strong ties among us during the twelve days when we were away from our parents. At first I felt uneasy thinking of going to Australia with total strangers from different schools. However, every time we had seminar we became friendlier and friendlier until we became so friendly as to be able to confide anything. After active discussions among us, we were able to show our best performance in front of the students of the local elementary schools and our host families. Although there was an accident that the CD player stopped on the way, we made concerted efforts to get over this trouble and could finish the performance happily and satisfactorily. This experience gave us a lot of self-confidence. Besides, we could share many other wonderful opportunities to strengthen our ties. With all the delegation members, we could see AIS (sports association building), Science Center, or Japan embassy which we would never visit otherwise. At the hotel we exchanged variety of information. For all the members who usually study at different schools, it was a precious time to make our relationship special. These ties we acquired during these twelve days are part of my best treasure.

Lastly I would like to express my cordial gratitude to the staff of Koshigaya International Association, the staff of civil activity support section of Koshigaya City Office, the people of Campbelltown City Office, two leaders who kindly shared life with us for twelve days and the parents of our host families. By making the most of this experience I would like to try my best to realize my dream and work for the future of my hometown, Koshigaya City.

Gift from Australia

Sengendai Junior High 2nd grade Aoi Yamaguchi

On July 23th, our plane arrived at Sydney airport at seven o’clock in the morning, a little late for the schedule. Australia and Japan are situated on the opposite side of the earth respectively, so it is Winter in Australia and it is Summer in Japan now. I had an information that this year is colder than usual and they had snow several days ago, but just before the start of life in Australia, I got so much excited that I rolled up my sleeves.

The zoo is where I have strong hope to go, because I want to become a breeder in future. In the zoo, there are abundant of greeneries, and chirping of many kinds of birds are heard, just like a tropical rain forest. There are many sorts of animals including ones peculiar to Australia. Explanatory notes are written in English, so regrettably I could not understand them fully, but I directly learned a lot. There is just one white Wallaby which is rare. After around 2 hours, we had lunch there. The volume of the lunch was bigger than that of Japanese, but I finished it with joy under the blue sky. During our lunch, a big bird approached me without fear that was terrible.

Aoi Yamaguchi

What I was most nervous in joining the Junior High Youth Delegation this time was home stay. Through exchange of e-mail I had some information about the host family to some extent. But I was very nervous whether I could communicate with English, or I might be at a loss facing the different culture and customs, or I might trouble them. But as soon as the host mother welcomed me with smile and hugged me from heart, uncertainty disappeared at once. As she always spoke to me in English slowly, I could understand her. She always tried to listen to my poor English. She taught me how to speak English, so I could challenge to speak English without hesitation. The host mother praised my pronunciation, so I could have confidence. On holidays, she brought me to the Blue Mountain and Sydney. Time flies, at last, the time to leave has come. It was very sad for me to part from the host family.

My view of life changed since I visited Campbelltown as a member of the 27th Koshigaya Junior High Youth Delegation. That I could touched upon Mother Nature and had valuable experiences at the visited places every day with 14 precious members are the big gifts of my life. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all the people concerned this project. Thank you again.

12 Days Stay in Australia with OMOTENASHI Extended

Leader Seiji Sunaga

I would like to report about OMOTENASHI extended by Campbelltown people when I joined 2015 Koshigaya Junior High Youth Delegation to Campbelltown, Australia, as follows.

1. Potential of 15 junior high members

On June 10th, Saturday, I met them first time at the 1st training. First impression was that they are serious and positive. At the time of selecting a team leader, many students rose their hands , that shows their positiveness. From the 2nd training, they focused on performances. They tried to select the Japanese traditional culture and Koshigaya’s unique culture by their own ideas.

Seiji Sunaga

During12 days stay, their way of thinking and attitude toward English dramatically changed. At first, they thought that correct grammar and clean pronunciation are indispensable to speak English. But afterward, they had confidence to find that they could communicate with only word or even with incorrect grammar. Some student said that for smoother communication, he would like to go abroad to study English. Actually, at the local elementary school, many students made good performances with confidence and enjoyed good communicaton with local pupils.

2. Life in different country and culture

I t was my first experience to go to Australia and make home stay. I was very happy to have enjoyed traditional fish and chips etc. cooked almost every day by the host mother. On holidays, I was invited to home parties and contacted with many people who were very positive. Some people made a trip to Europe for 6monthes, other succeeded in running 3 shops as an immigrant. All of them encouraged me. Visiting facilities, I could learn about aborigine and sport culture in Australia. I found the way of thinking toward education is different from Japan.

3. Relationship between Koshigaya city and Campbelltwon city

I felt that the relationship between the students and the host families are supported by the history and bonds nurtured between two cities during the past 31 years sister city relationship. When the delegation members met the host families first time, they were very nervous. But the host families welcomed them from hearts. I am very happy to know that the host families took care of them just like their families.

1~3 mentioned above came from OMOTENSHI by Campbelltown people, I believe. I think it is very important that people from different countries and culture take care of each other. As the delegation members had heartfelt warm experiences there, I hope they will be able to make the best use of them in future. Thank you.

2014(the 26th) Koshigaya Junior High Youth Delegation

Lots of Excitements and Impressions

Koshigaya Chuo Junior High School 2nd Grade Hayahide Koda

To begin with, I am very happy to have taken part in the Koshigaya Junior High Delegation and had wonderful experiences. And I appreciate everybody who cooperated this delegation. These experiences gave me a lot of deep emotion and memories. Among other things, especially “performance”, “lodging study training” and” “host family” became the most memorable for me.

Hayahide Koda

First, we made the performance twice. I was very glad to find that we succeeded in the performances both. All members had exercised very hard. It is not too much to say that bonds of members were strengthened through this hard training. I longed to succeed it as a leader. At the first performance, we sang a song “Let it go” with students at school. As it was successful, we were encouraged. Next, I had a butterfly in my stomach because we made it in front of the mayor. CD wasn’t in top condition, but our singing voice sounded in the hall, so I was moved with our singing voice.

Second, we had lodging study training. We saw beautiful stars that were twinkling like diamonds. I’ve never seen such beautiful stars. It was breathtaking beauty. I was very proud of the fact that only our members who stayed at the place could enjoy the beautiful, sparkling sky. We had a party and campfire too. Our bond became the strongest by these events. When I had meals with them in this party. I keenly thought I was happy to come to Campbelltown with these members. Mr. Hasegawa and boys structured woods for campfire. When Mr. Hasegawa and I were seeing campfire, we said “Blaze is romance of men”.

Third, the host family became my treasure for my life time. When I saw host family at first time, I was so nervous that I couldn’t talk with them. But they were so tender and kind that I could make friends with them soon. Host family took me to the party where many their relatives gathered for it. The party was exciting and enjoyable because I’ve never joined such the party in Japan. I was envious of this culture. And then they took me to an aquarium of Sydney too. Host family always contacted me as a member of their family. Therefore it was almost broke my heart to part with them.

I took only shower during stay in Australia so, sometimes I wanted to soak myself in the bathtub. I could realize again importance of water because they don’t waste water.

I told them about Japanese culture. For example, we say before a meal [ITADAKIMASU] and after a meal [GOCHISOUSAMA]. It means Japanese appreciate everything.

Through this program, I’ve learned many things including what I didn’t know while in Japan. And bonds with the host family and the delegation members have been strengthen. I appreciate all people from my heart who supported this program. And I would like to make the best use of those experiences for my school life and future. Thank you again.


Koshigaya Koyo Junior High 2nd Grade Sae Watanabe

I feel that ‘Kiseki’moved us greatly in this delegation.(‘Kiseki’is homonym in Japanese).

First of all, I feel happy that I could take part in this delegation and I could meet the members. As we are enrolled in different schools, so usually it was impossible for us to get to know each other. But we could meet and work on the same purpose together! I think it was ‘Kiseki’(miracle). Though we were troubled with the culture gap, we cooperated with each other and could enjoy our 12 days. When we put on a play, we could perform perfectly in spite of CD player failure.

In Australia, we can see a lot of animals and the great nature. The national park spreads as far as the eye could see. Even after we drove for two hours, we could see the same view. There were many wild cows, horses and kangaroos. It was my first time to see them, so I was very much surprised. At night, we watched a lot of stars in the sky like a planetarium. We made wishes looking up at shooting stars, and watched the Southern Cross and the Milky Way. That was very much impressive. And the limestone cave of which scale is very big and has hundreds of millions of years’ history, so we were overwhelmed by the sight of there. I thought that the limestone cave showed us the long year relationship between nature and people. So, it is‘Kiseki’(track : track called History).

And I got a better understanding of Japan again. I felt that Japan is safer than foreign countries, and is rich in food. In Australia, when people go out shopping mall, they must be checked their belongings for prevention of shoplifting. When I was checked for the first time, I was disconcerted by it. And also, I realized that Japanese foods are so fresh like Sashimi and Sushi. Japanese foods are becoming popular worldwide. There were conveyor-belt sushi shops in Australia. I remembered the delicacy of Japanese food and sweets in the home stay. Besides, I think that it is rare in the world to drink water straight from faucets.

Sae Watanabe

I felt that most of Australian people including Campbelltown city were very kind and funny. It was the first time for me to go abroad, so I was anxious. But I could be relaxed and enjoy thanks to them. I would like to visit there again. I will try to gain a lot of experiences and study hard. And I would like to tell many things to Australian people next time.

It is ‘Kiseki’(gem : brightness and valuables)for me that I studied and realized through this delegation. I will tell my experiences to many people, and I would like to put it to use for Cmpbelltown city, Koshigaya city, Japan and in my future. I really appreciate all the people that were involved with this delegation. Thank you very much!

Our Stay in Australia Started with “G’DAY MATE”

Leader Hiroaki Hasegawa

At 8:30 a.m. on July 24, we exchanged the first greetings in Australia with the local people. It was not “Good morning”, not “Welcome” but “ G’DAY MATE”.“G’DAY MATE” is popular greeting in Australia, with which they smile.

This time, commemorating the 30th Anniversary of Sister City Relationship between Koshigaya and Campbelltown. I, as a leader, went to Australia and stayed there for 12 days, from July 23 to August 3, with 15 delegation members. We put on uniforms with printed KOSHIGAYA , HINOMARU and special badges.

I felt that the delegation members were very much adaptable to the local lives. They seemed to have fully enjoyed TIMTAM(popular chocolates in Australia), potato chips and cakes with tea in the morning, and sandwiches with pies during the daytime, and barbecues in the evening.

The host families fully took care of us as members of their families. They gave us rides to and from the Koshigaya Park every day. Some host families said “Be back soon!” with hug and said “Welcome back!” with hug. Some delegation member seemed to want to have ‘hug culture’ in Japan.

Hiroaki Hasegawa

On July 30, we visited a local elementary school to make performances which we had practiced for five weeks. Our schedule was that in the morning, we exchanged mutual cultures through Q&A, dance and ORIGAMI, and in the afternoon we made performances. As we were confident of success to some extent in the stage of rehearsal, the performance was very successful. The performance was “RED DEMON AND BLUE DEMON” which was a short play mixed with something local. At the end of the performances, 1st and 2nd grade elementary school pupils sang “LET IT GO” with us. That was very much exciting. After the performances, a delegation member asked me “How do you evaluate our performances? ” That shows our performances were successful, I thought. In the evening, we made 2nd performances at the welcome reception hosted by the mayor, with the mayor, the chairman of Campbelltown-Koshigaya Sister City Association and all host families attended. We could make the performances with confidence as it was 2nd. After the performances, I exchanged cards with many guests saying “G’DAY MATE”. I found they responded with smile.

At the last day, we gathered at the Koshigaya Park. All members were so excited that we did not feel the coldness 2 degrees below zero. Some members were crying with hug, others were suppressing their sorrow of parting. As soon as the bus started for the airport, they stopped chatting and singing. I think that the delegation members could reconfirm something precious for life in Australia.

Lastly I am very happy to report that the delegation members were praised as having great personality by the local people. Thank you very much.

2013(the 25th) Koshigaya Junior High Youth Delegation

The precious chances to meet new oneself

Koshigaya Fuji Junior High School 2nd Grade Yuri Arakaki

On July 24th in 2013, I left Japan with 15members and 2 leaders. After about 9hours' flight, we arrived at Sydney. It was very cold, but they gave us a warm reception with " Welcome to Australia! " But I had expectation and anxiety.

I took part in this delegation for 3 reasons. First, I would like to feel directly Australian nature and culture. Second, I would like to know my English ability. And the last, I would like to tell them about Japanese culture and Koshigaya as a citizen of Koshigaya city.

Before I met the host family, I had worried myself. But at the moment that I met them, my overanxious had gone. They listened to my poor English with interest, and they talked to me slowly with gestures. I was surprised to know that Australian people ate a lot, and they had meals many times in a day. They had breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and ice cream time. And then I got a bag of snack besides these meals every day. I thought these eating times were very precious for them.

They brought me to Blue Mt. After 1 hour and half, we reached there by car. I took a deep breath of fresh air and I could directly feel great nature in Australia.

My host mother's hobby was Belly dance, and she brought me to the lesson. There, people of varying ages enjoyed dancing, and I joined in spontaneously. And so, I noticed while we were dancing, we could comprehend with no language.

Yuri Arakaki

When we visited to the elementary school, we showed original performance that we had made in five advance meetings. We expressed "Japan" with dancing in the music of Koshigaya Ondo and Soranbusi in the Momotaro's play. People were very pleased with our performance, and so I realized that we could introduced "Japan" to them. And then we could feel a sense of achievement, and our member's ties became stronger.

It was the time in the last stage of this trip. At night, when I looked up, I was surprised to find that a lot of stars were twinkling in the sky. So I could see black mountains clearly. I felt the vast expanses of outer space, and I was very impressed with the great nature in Australia.

At that time that my home stay came to an end, I noticed that I spoke English naturally. And I was very happy to notice that I could realize my progress of English.

These great experiences are the treasure for me, and I try to make the most use of it in the future. I knew that the friendly relations between Campbelltown city and Koshigaya city have continued for long time by many people's cooperation. And I am proud of participation in this delegation, then I would like to contribute to the bonds of friendship. The next time, I would like to welcome people of Campbelltown city in Koshigaya city, and I will return their kindness. I could meet new oneself through this trip. From now, I will begin my globalization actually!

What I learned through this Delegation Program.

Koshigaya Obukuro Junior High School 2nd Grade Yuna Erikawa

I had two reasons why I participated in this Delegation Program. The first one was to enhance my communication ability in English. The second one was to confirm if I could do anything without the help from teachers and the host family. I learned two things through this Delegation Program.

The first one was that only languages are not enough for communication. While spending several days in Australia, I became to be able to understand what they were saying, but I could not reply in English. Instead, I communicated with them by simple languages and gestures. So, I thought that trying to understand is necessary for communication. My English ability is very poor now. So, I will make every effort to study English harder than before.

The second one was that paying much attention to others is necessary for group activities to avoid trouble to others. I always behaved in such a manner as a citizen of Koshigaya city.

Yuna Erikawa

Three days I spent with the host family were most enjoyable. I enjoyed shopping at a big shopping mall and drive to a beach. A female South Korean student, who is the same age as I, coincidentally stayed at the host family. I stayed with her only one day, on Saturday, but I could communicate with her and became friend. Common topic was "HANA YORI DANGO" which was on the air in South Korea. I surprised to see that the host sister played the theme song by piano. She said that she learned it at the Japanese class.

So far, I have studied English, but now I have a dream to know another culture, and to have many other friends who have various opinions in the future. During this trip, I experienced not only pleasant time, but also stress and endurance. Anyway, I am very happy to have joined this program. Thank you very much.

I love Australia

Koshigaya Sengendai Junior High School 2nd Grade Konoka Nomura

The experiences which I had during my 12 days stay in Australia have become unforgettable treasures for me.

Before departure I wondered if I could communicate with the host family in English. When I leave Japan with my delegation, my heart was overflowing with expectation and a little worry.

When I arrived in Australia, people speak only English, so I fully realized I'm in Australia and my heart leaped up. It was first time for me to travel abroad. I saw beautiful natures, blue sky and colorful birds, so I felt everything is fresh.

Konoka Nomura

After sightseeing, I met my host family. When I had butterflies in my stomach, my host mother hugged me with smile. I was really glad to see that all members of the host family came to see me with a stuffed toy Koala as a gift for me. At first, I was impatient because I couldn't express my feelings in English. But they told me so slowly that I could understand their words little by little, and I noticed I could communicate in English without my dictionary. My host mother told me that you are my second daughter. When I heard it, I felt I became a member of the family. The home was overflowing with cheerfulness and laughter, so it is very comfortable for me to stay.

Also, I was very glad to celebrate my new siblings' birthday and my mother made Japanese food for me. I very much appreciated them every day. I told them about Japanese cultures, Calligraphy, Kimono, Nurie and Origami. I enjoyed doing it with them. They were really interested in Origami and Nurie. The last day I spent with the host family, I couldn't keep back my tears because it was very hard for me to say a good –bye to them. I was printed in my mind the sight that they were reluctant to part from me and my host family's car ran parallel our bus which ran for the airport.

Our performances of welcome party were successful. Mayor and everybody enjoyed our performances. I enjoyed sightseeing of Sydney, koalas, kangaroos, elementary school and an overnight training trip with Delegation members. Those memories are my precious treasures. Thank you very much for Mr. Watanabe, Mr. Ueno and all members of our Delegation. Also, I appreciate for the members of Campbelltown-Koshigaya Sister Cities Association who have taken care of us for safety and have had a good time during our stay in Campbelltown.

I never forget what I learned during my stay in Australia. I would like to make the most use of it for my life in the future. And I will study English harder and I'm sure to go to Australia again.

Spent 12 days with "self-support" in my mind

Leader Masayoshi Ueno

This time, as a leader I visited Campbelltown with 15 Delegation members and a member of Koshigaya International Association under the 25th Koshigaya Junior High Youth Delegation Exchange Program.

Even now, I clearly remember that they were very much strained at the training program. At that time, we decided each members' role to be played. I appreciated them for their willing acceptance of the allocation. I asked them to act on their own judgment and responsibility.

At the first training time, when I asked them to discuss about the contents of the performances, they willingly and earnestly did it. Judging from their behavior, I believed that the performance will be successful, and 12 days mission will be successful, too. "Musical Momotaro" was decided to be played. "Soran Bushi" and "Koshigaya Ondo" were decided to be performed at the same time. They exercised the performance again and again. Staffs of Koshigaya International Association praised their earnest exercise.

The first performance was played at a local elementary school. In the beginning, I was not sure if the performance was understood by the local pupils, but the worry disappeared soon, because big applause took place as soon as "Soran Bushi" finished. The second performance was played at the welcome reception hosted by the Campbelltown mayor. After "Soran Bushi", big applause happened. Many people joined "Koshigaya Ondo" in accordance with a call for dancing. Performance was very successful because of the Delegation member's efforts.

They were always paying attention to each other not only in performance, but also in other group activities. For example, when I asked a group leader to call the roll, he reported the result in 10 seconds.

Masayoshi Ueno

I am very proud that the 15 Delegation members have become a wonderful team, because they acted on their own judgment and responsibility. Their behaviors are worthy of the representatives of Koshigaya city. I am very happy to say that they were praised by Aussie.

Experiences in Australia will give them wonderful impact for lives. At the same time, they could recognize good aspects of Japan, I believe. I hope that they will make every effort to realize their dreams in the future with working harder together, paying attention to other persons with whom they lived under the same roof. Thank you very much.

2012(the 24th) Koshigaya Junior High Youth Delegation

Supreme memories

Koshigaya Chuo Junior High School 2nd Grade Maho Fukai

One of the reasons why I joined this program was that until now I had no opportunity to go abroad, so I wanted to speak English with local people directly, and wanted to recognize good things of Japan in the foreign country.

Delegation members, whose bonds were becoming stronger, left Japan for Australia with expectations and anxieties. In the English speaking society, the anxieties were becoming stronger, but they disappeared at once when I saw the host family coming up to welcome me with smile. As I looked sleepy, the host family took care of me and asked "Are you tired?" Gradually I became familiar with the situation. The host family tried to understand my broken English, so I was very happy every day.

Maho Fukai

During 2 weeks we visited many places, for example, a high school, the beautiful and big Manly Beach, a zoo where we touched kangaroos and koala , the Opera House which was bigger than expected. Everywhere we visited looked fresh and very interesting. We saw wild animals very often and listened to chirping of birds. Such experiences gave me cheerful feeling.

I was very much impressed with the fact that Australian people are very kind and cheerful, and taking care of nature and natural resources like water. They spoke to me with smile, whom they met for the first time, "Hello, how are you?" They were very kind enough to teach English when I was at a loss how to do. I was very much surprised to find that there are abundant of greens in town and residential areas. They make it a rule to save water by short time shower. I think we Japanese should follow their mode of lives.

I learned two lessons in Australia. First one is that we should behave positively.By doing so, we can easily communicate with others. Second one is that we should take care of a friendship with a person as long as we can. By doing so, we can enjoy the good memory for long time.

Thank you.

Home stay in Campbelltown

Koshigaya Nishi Junior High School 2nd Grade Hayato Anzai

Why I applied for this delegation? Because I wanted to improve my English capability by actual use of English in the foreign country. At the first stage of the orientation, I was very nervous and I wondered if I was worth a member of this delegation. But gradually I became friends with all of the 15 members. I had confidence a little day by day thanks to good teamwork and the power of unity. And on July 25th, I left Japan with big expectation and a little anxiety.

The next day, I was very busy. Everywhere in the town was full of English, so I was nervous. But when I met my host family in the evening and they said to me "Nice to meet you! " with a smile, I was relieved a little. When I presented gifts to the host family at the house, they were delighted with them and said to me "It's cool!"

Every day from Monday to Friday, they took me to and from the Campbelltown city hall. I visited the high school, I went sightseeing in Sydney, and I went to the science museum, the zoo, etc. I was excited by my first experiences to see the Opera House, and to touch Koalas and Kangaroos.

Hayato Anzai

On Saturday, I had a good time with my host family watching the football game played by brothers and enjoying barbeques. The last day, their grandparents visited us. We made pizza together. At that time, they asked me "Do you like Australia?" and I answered quickly "Yes!" And then they said to me "It's good! Please come to Australia again." The last morning, I woke up at 4 before sunrise. My host family said to me "You are a member of our family" when we parted. At that moment I was greatly moved, and I left there with such an emotion.

When I look back on this experience, there is a little regret in my heart. I fully realized my English is very poor. Before departure from Japan, I thought I could speak well in Australia. But actually I had difficulty in telling my feeling to others in English. So I had to communicate with a lot of gestures. It was a shock to me that I could understand them but I couldn't tell them. I will study harder so that I will be able to communication with them in English at the next chance!

These twelve days were a precious experience. It's a marvelous treasure for me that I could listen to native English, I had a chance to come into contact with a different culture, and I met a good family and good friends.

Lastly, I really appreciate Koshigaya city, Campbelltown city, KIA, all the people that were involved in this delegation, and particularly my parents. Thank you very much!

Surprise! Impression! and Thanks! for 12 days

Koshigaya Ohsagami Junior High School 2nd Grade Sakura Wada

Australia, where there are many cute animals, rich nature and wide land, is a country I have been aspiring to go since my child-hood. I did not expect that my dream had come true so early.

Australia is a brighter and more beautiful country than I expected. So, every day I was surprised, impressed and thanked for 12 days.

What I was surprised to see were too many to count.

Surprise!First surprise was that numbers of macaws and parrots were in flock just like sparrows, and there were wild pelicans. The roadway is very wide and traffic lights are scarce, so roads in general look like expressways. I was at a loss to find that local people always did not make haste, and arrived at the gathering place behind the time. But I thought that they might feel we Japanese were too stiff-mannered on the other hand.

Impression!First impression was that the nature is very beautiful, and sky, green field and sea are dazzling. I could see the Southern Cross at night. Local people are open-minded and friendly. Everywhere they spoke to us. They brought Japanese games and animation characters for me to become friends.

Thanks!The host family is a big one consisting of seven sisters. They took care of me, and made every efforts to understand by using devices what I was saying. Second times, I was invited to birthday party of kids, and I could catch a glimpse of their ordinary lives. At night I was very comfortable, because they were enjoying personal computer and games with watching the Olympics on TV.

Sakura Wada

I thank all the delegation members including two leaders. I think that I could not have enjoyed this trip without them. Before departure from Japan, we encouraged each other, and after arrival, we could enjoy every day with strong bonds. I reported to my friends that I was disappointed not to be able to communicate with the local people in English, but that changed to pleasant topics. I had much difficulty to part from the host family with tears falling. I was very much surprised to find that I wanted to stay here as long as possible.

I was so shy before that I never thought of "international exchange". I learned that I can peep into a wonderful world with a little courage. I would like to see the local people in Campbelltown again after I studied English harder. I am very happy to have been born in Koshigaya. Thank you.

Big Adventure to Introduce Koshigaya

Leader Toshio Sekiguchi

"Thank you very much. I(We) had a great time". I(We) said so very often to many people in Australia.

On June 23, 17 delegation members consisting of 15 children and two leaders started the orientation program. In order to introduce many things about Koshigaya, we studied about Koshigaya and Campbelltown, and practiced English conversation and performances through five times' orientations. That resulted in strong bonds among delegation members.

On July 25, 12 days' big adventure started in Australia. Everything to see was exciting and impressive, so I felt refreshed day by day. What we learned through this adventure were too many to count. Our special impressions are categorized into four points as follows:

1, Nature creates human, human conserves nature!

Toshio Sekiguchi

In Australia, which is more than 20 times larger than Japan, we could enjoy wide bush everywhere, calm and clean sea, moon and stars looking like near us, and twitter of birds. Those gave us cheerful feeling. Children sometimes were surprised to find that rabbits and /or wallabies suddenly appeared on the road side.

In order to conserve such wonderful nature, they are paying much attention to protect environment nationwide in Australia. In ordinary lives, they are making every effort to protect environment. For examples, they refrain from building high structures without approval, control using shower to save water, and stop using low-efficient incandescent lamps. It is wonderful to see the situation where human and nature co-exist.

2, Children's smile is common worldwide!

In Australia, a multicultural society, children of whose sense of value and races are different are studying together. I was much impressed with the basic educational policy to foster mutual respect. When we visited a school, the children welcomed us from heart and friendly spoke to us. Looking at the children expressing their joy to the full extent in the classroom, I thought that children's smile and teachers' zeal to create such a smile is common worldwide.

3, Experiences stir willingness to study!

One of the pinches during this adventure was that it was very difficult for me and children to talk with local people in English. The host of the family was so skilful that he made a wide garden just like a school ground, grew plants and animals, made a flower garden and a house fence. And he was kind enough to show me how to do such things. Through these experiences, willingness to study English harder, and make happy life by my own ideas was strongly stirred.

4, Thankfulness!

I would like to appreciate host families for welcoming and taking care of us during our stay in Australia, appreciate all members of Campbelltown-Koshigaya Sister City Association for saying "We are very happy if you enjoyed the stay here", and appreciate delegation members for sharing pleasures and pains in the unknown country. I realized the real meaning of "thankfulness" through 12 days.

Lastly again "Thank you very much. I(We) had a great time".

2012(25th) Koshigaya Youth Delegation Reports

What I learned during 8 days' home stay

Urawa Dai-Ichi Girls High School 1st Grade: Mayu Gotoya

I've always thought about learning the difference between Japanese culture and other foreign country's, and I wanted to introduce Japan to many people. And I expected that my wish would be realized during my home stay in Australia. So, I applied for this delegation.

The first day I was full of hopes and fears. On the way to the host family's house, I was touched by the grandeur of nature. When I was asked about Japan, I couldn't understand them and I couldn't talk with them. At that time, I thought it was a chance to learn English. And I had expectations of the progress in my English.

Mayu Gotoya

Every day from Monday to Friday, they took me to a lot of places. We could see the arts of Aborigines everywhere we visited. Australians seem to respect old traditions. The place I was most impressed with was Sydney. I had seen the sight several times on TV. When I could see the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, I was moved very much and I still remember them clearly.

What I was most impressed by in Australia was people's kindness and broad-mindedness. Even if I spoke poor English, they talked to me and tried to understand me wherever I visited. Since the first day when I decided to put all my heart into talking, I could talk to them without fear. So, I could tell many people about Japanese culture.

I learned a lot during my 8 days' home stay, and I realized that the pleasant time had gone quickly .When I left for Japan, my host mother said to me " Please stay here when you come to Australia, again! " I was gladdened by her kind consideration. I felt that Australia became my second home.

Though our departure was postponed for one year due to the Higashi Nippon Earthquake, we had a lot of experiences. I thank all people that were concerned with this delegation very much.

As a member of the Koshigaya Youth Delegation

Koshigaya Minami High School 1st Grade: Hana Tsumura

I visited Australia with 11 members of the Koshigaya Youth Delegation from March 17 to 26. Actually, I couldn't help feeling uneasy about going there at first. When I heard about this program, I thought that I wanted to go abroad truly. And then I applied for this program. Other school's members were selected among many students, but in my school, I was alone. So I could be a member of the Youth Delegation. As the orientation program proceeded and the day of departure came near, I became very nervous.

But as soon as I took a step out from Japan, I thought that the world was changed in the moment, and my mind was changed also on the contrary. I had an experience to take on an airplane when I was a child. This flight was in the midnight, so I was very excited, and I couldn't sleep well. I set foot in Australia for the first time. The view of Australia was grand and beautiful, and my worries disappeared. I will never forget their warm heart.

Hana Tsumura

In Australia, I could experience various things. I lived in English only. My host-family looked forward to meet me, and they welcomed me warmly. We enjoyed dinner every day together, and then they took me to the zoo and amusement grounds. I will never forget that I first ate foods and I first rode on horse. We enjoyed a barbecue in the yard like forest at the last night. I spent with my host-family only eight days, but everything are treasure that I will never forget. So I was very sad when I left there.

Australia was a beautiful country, and I especially thought that a row of houses and streets in Sydney were very beautiful when I saw from ships, and the Opera House was wonderful like a wonderland. Sea was pure blue as if painted, and it was very comfortable for me to walk on the white sand with bare foot. Many stars were twinkling in the night sky, and that was quite different from Japan. Australia was rich in greenery, and the city had a clear atmosphere.

I understood that Australia is very beautiful country that still has a rich natural environment different from Japan. And English was very difficult for me. It is very important to communicate with different culture country through home-stay. I had many experiences through this Youth Delegation. That is the result of the efforts by the people that have engaged in the sister city program for a long time, the cooperation by the host-families and the help of many peoples.

I think that I want to go to see my host-family by myself. Therefore I resolved to study English harder, and I want to improve me. Because I want to see the host-family again with a smile!

My experiences in Australia

Kasukabe Girls High School 1st Grade: Minami Shiraishi

I learned and experienced a lot of things from taking part in the Koshigaya Youth Delegation. It was the first time for me to go to Australia. I started for Australia on March 17th with worries, hopes and fears. I selected three points from what I learned and was deeply impressed with through this program as follows.

First, I knew that what is important is communication ability. I'm cheerful and positive character but I couldn't show it in Campbelltown. When our Delegation students visited the Leumeah High School, almost all our members were talking with the students of the school, but I couldn't speak to them. When some student talked to me I had difficulty in expressing my thoughts in English. It made me irritated. Although I had a lot of things to ask them, I didn't know how to do. I regretted that I could not talk with them because I didn't have any confidence in my English. If I get an opportunity to go abroad in future again, I would like to improve my English conversation capability to communicate with many foreigners.

Minami Shiraishi

Second, we had close bonds with our delegation students. We were going to Campbelltown last spring vacation, but it was postponed to this year due to Higashi-Nippon Big Disaster. I worried whether we could get along with them as last year. I knew that was overanxious when we stayed in Campbelltown in two to three days. They soon became friendly and opened up to each other. It made me happy. We enjoyed cooking cake, spending time at beach, and showing performance at the welcome party. We visited a lot of places. I never forget these events. When I left the Sydney airport I thought from the bottom of my heart those members were best.

Third, my host family was really kind. I was nervous when I met my host family first time, but my host mother got rid of my worry by her hug. It is my treasure to have spent a good time with the host family. I went shopping with the host mother and went to Sydney with the host father. I never forget their kindness and smile.

Lastly, I really appreciate KIA, my parents, member of our delegation students, our leader Mrs. Miyakawa and other people who supported me. Thank you very much for everything.

A year has passed since... . Supported by everyone

Delegation Leader: Kazue Miyakawa

The Great East Japan Earthquake occurred on the day before the 22nd delegation had the fifth advance training. It was Friday March 11, 2011. Our delegation was canceled. However it was decided to send the delegation to Campbelltown again after a year as the 25th Koshigaya Youth Delegation thanks to all concerned. We had advance training twice on March 10, and 11, 2012. Eleven members and a leader met again. They seemed to have matured a little for me than before. We didn't have so much time to practice our performance because of their entrance examination. So after practicing it only twice we left Koshigaya for Campbelltown with a slight anxiety.

On the second day we met host families on Sunday morning. In the pictures with their host families they seemed to have a little worried look. On the third day we went to Manly Beach in Sydney by train. It was so warm that girls took off their shoes and ran the beach. We were very happy to see koalas and kangaroos at Wildlife World in the afternoon. On the fifth day we had two big events. They were visiting a high school and a welcome party. We visited Leumeah High School. We had a lot of enjoyable experiences there, such as a P.E. class, a calligraphy class.Some members showed examples for the students writing some Kanji (Chinese characters) such as "Nihon" (Japan) "Ai" (love) and so on. We had a BBQ for lunch at the school backyard.

Kazue Miyakawa

We enjoyed sausages, cakes which the students cooked for us. In the evening we had a welcome party. We arrived at a hall a little early, so we practiced our performance for a short time. When the delegation members stood in front of the host families wearing blue Japanese uniform called Happi, they seemed a little nervous. But they did a good performance. Host families gave them a big hand and took so many pictures of them. They must have been proud of themselves. On the sixth and seventh day, we learned Aboriginal culture and went to a botanical garden. We had a kangaroo meat at a BBQ for lunch. On the eighth and ninth day members spent time with their host families. I'm sure they had a good time. I write down a part of my thank you speech which I made on the last day in Campbellotown.

"Today is the last day in Campbelltown. Time flies. We also have to fly to Japan. Our hearts and suitcases are full of memories you gave us. So I'm a little worried whether Qantas can carry our luggage and us. I'd like to say thank you thousands of times, millions of times... Please do come to Koshigaya. Thank you."

Lastly I'd like to appreciate Koshigaya City and Koshigaya International Association for giving me this wonderful opportunity. I also would like to say thank you to eleven delegation members. I'm proud of you as a leader.

Crossing the border, this summer

Koshigaya Kita Junior High School: Kohki Itsushima

There were two reasons why I made an application for this program;

one was that I would like to brush up my English capability in Australia as I have little opportunity to speak English in Japan, another one was that I wish I could become “ Bridge” between Japan and Australia.

In the beginning of the orientation, I was very nervous because I was not familiar with other participants, besides only I and Mr. Miura were males among 15 participants. But as the orientation proceeds, we became familiar with each other and could make every effort to practice performances for success.

But I was still nervous with home stay in Australia. Appreciating them for the kindness to accept my home stay for two weeks, I wonder what the host family is like, or if I will be able to get on well with the host family, and my nervousness continued. But as soon as I met Dad and Mom who welcomed me with smile at the Japanese garden, my anxiety disappeared at once, because Dad is cheerful and Mom is very kind. And I, an eldest son in Japan, had elder brother and sister at the same time in Campbelltown. Two reliable brothers!! Sean, one year older brother, and I enjoyed TV game.

As soon as we arrived at Campbelltown, we started busy activities. Every morning, the host family brought us to the Koshigaya park by car, from where our activities started. It was first experience for us to know that ”Aborigines” lived in Australia, and to learn their cultures. I was very much impressed to see the world heritage “Opera House”.

Among schedules, there was welcome party sponsored by the mayor of Campbelltown. I was in charge of making speech on behalf of the mission.

Although I made preparation for the speech beforehand, I was very much nervous to make an actual speech. I paid much attention to speak slowly so that they could understand my speech. After that we made performances. When local attendants joined our performances, I was pleased to find that they were very frank.

During our stay in Campbelltown, time flied like an arrow. When I returned to Japan and looked up the sky, I wondered what the national boundary is. I would like to go beyond the national border by making the best use of my experiences in Australia.

Lastly I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to all people concerned for their full support. Thank you again.

Valuable experiences

Koshigaya Eishin Junior High School: Haruka Shimizu

I have a dream to become an English teacher in future. In order to realize the dream, it is necessary for me to study English in the foreign country where they speak English like their native tongue, I think. I am very happy to have an opportunity for that this time.

We left Japan for Australia on July 23. I t was my first experience to have a ride in an airplane and to go abroad. I could not sleep due to mixed feelings of expectation and uncertainty in the airplane.

In the next morning we arrived at Sydney airport, and were very much impressed to find English is prevailing. I was very much surprised to find “Koshigaya Park” in Campbelltown. When I met the host family, they hugged me saying “Hello Haruka”. As they looked gentle I was relieved a little. On the way to the house by car, I introduced myself and told them about the recent disaster in Japan. I had no confidence to speak English. But I was very much pleased to find that they began understanding what I said, after my strenuous effort.

I enjoyed food, shopping mall, beach and having chats with them. One of the best memories was having stayed with them. On the first day, I was so nervous and uncertain that I wanted to go back to Japan. But thanks to the gentle and kind host family, I gradually began enjoying my life there. I learned the differences of habits and customs of life. Australian people pay much attention to saving water. I found the difficulty to take a bath within 5 minutes.

I appreciate them for their kindness to bring us to many famous places; Blue Mountain with beautiful scenery, beautiful town Sydney and Canberra where it was a little cold, full of nature. Besides in Australia I found many greenery places, clear sky and many wild animals. Thanks to such beautiful experiences, I have had a feeling that my heart has become clean.

The most impressive for me is that many Australian people are very much large –hearted; always smiling and talked to us positively. I would like to recommend the Japanese people to follow suit their behavior.

During our 13 days stay in Australia, I learned 2 things. One was ” the importance of language”. We cannot convey our thoughts to others without language. Another one is ” bondage with family and friend”. I think that I could not safely stay in Campbelltown without the support by my family in Japan, the host family and our friends. I could get communication capability with foreign people.

Lastly, I would like to say “Thank you!!” to my family, the teacher, the leader, the mayor and all other people concerned. Thank you!

Thank you!

Koshigaya Osagami Junior High School: Tomomi Someya

Through 2 weeks' home stay in Australia, I could well understand the importance of family and friends. The host family in Australia, my friends of the same mission and my family in Japan fully supported me this time.

I remember I was very nervous on the first day. I wondered what the host family is like, or if I will be able to get on with the host family. I felt depressed. But contrary to my anxiety, I am very happy to find that the host family came up to me saying "Where is Tomomi?", and welcomed me with hug. My English is poor, but in accordance with the proverb "Practice makes perfect" I tried to speak English more positively than ever. Host family tried to understand what I am saying.

I have two very impressed memories; Sydney and zoo. I visited Sydney three times. It was the first time for me to see the Opera House which looks bigger than one broadcasted by TV. I enjoyed ferry and water taxi, and I remember the sea was very beautiful. On holiday I visited Sydney where I enjoyed shopping and taking pictures. So I have become fond of the host family more than before. In the zoo, I could touch kangaroo and koala first time. In Australia, there are so many animals not seen in Japan.

Other natural sceneries are also very beautiful and impressive. All places, including Blue Mountain and Royal Botanical Garden, I visited are new world for me. Bondages among friends have been strengthened much more than before.

Time flies. When I became to be able to communicate with host family in English, time is up for us to leave Campbelltown. I am very happy to have an opportunity to watch myself this time. I hated to part from the host family, so I burst into tears. The host mother was very kind enough to say to me "I love you" and "See you soon" again and again. I resolved to study English much harder, and come back to the host family again. After returning to Japan, I still continue exchanging e-mail with the host family. I would like to be attentive to the new family forever.

I will appreciate many people for their support. I will make the best use of my valuable experiences in future.

As a leader of 23rd Koshigaya Junior High Delegation

Kenji Komiya (Leader)

I played the part of leader of 23th Junior High School Mission. To begin with, on June 12th, 1st orientation was held. This was first meeting for us.

I have already had experiences to lead Junior High School students as a teacher. But I was very much nervous at the first meeting because I wondered if all 15 members can safely return to Japan. I am sure the students were also very much nervous at that time, because they are leaving their family for 13 days.

At the 5th orientation, we focused on teaching English conversation and learning about Campbelltown. In the beginning, I worried that it took long time to select performances to be executed at the reception in Campbelltown. But gradually they began cooperating to select and practice performances.

I would like to tell you three of many other comments as for this mission as follows. First one is that I could reconfirm the existence of diversified cultures. English in Australia is dubbed "Aussie English". A is pronounced "ai" in general. I was very much surprised to know that they have habits of morning tea, and take their own refreshments at school. Their main dish in Australia is meat, so their food life and Japanese one is quite different.

Second one is that the students dramatically changed from the first stage. After they met the host family at "Koshigaya Park" in Campbelltown, they went to their host family separately. Only English conversation is the means to communicate with the host family. They looked very much uncertainty when they started for their host family. On the second day, some students said "I want to go back home", and others looked up to the sky with tears. But they gradually became familiar with the local situation. After one week or so, they could communicate with the host family in English. Many students said "I would like to stay here longer". I was very much encouraged to know how much adaptable they are.

Third one is that I would like to express my heart-felt appreciation to Australian people for their good support. This year is 27th Anniversary since the start of the sister city relationship. The bondage between Campbelltown and Koshigaya is becoming stronger and stronger. Some students said "I would like to study English harder enough to communicate with host family in English and come back to Australia again". I hope they will be able to utilize this valuable experiences in future.

Lastly, I would like to appreciate Campbelltown city, Koshigaya city and all other people concerned for their giving me the opportunity to have precious experiences like this.

Joining Koshigaya Youth Delegation

Yuta Suzuki

I had home-stay in Campbelltown for 12days, from July 23 to August 3.

Actually, I had been interested in this program for long time. There were two reasons why I joined this program. One was that I would like to have experience available only in Australia. The other one was that I would like to improve my communication capability in English.

My biggest hope in Australia was to stay with host-family. But I had no confidence to communicate in English. I wonder if I could stay in foreign country. Such expectation and anxiety were mixed so heavily that I could not sleep well in the airplane.

When we landed and got out of Sydney airport, only English was spoken, that gave me a sort of curious feeling. I was very much relieved to see the faces of the mother and the father of the host-family. As soon as the mother hugged me saying "Nice to meet you Yuta!", my fatigue of the flight disappeared at once.

In the first day, I was very much shocked because I could not well convey my intention to them. But I decided "Never give up". I continued to make every efforts to speak to them utilizing electronic dictionary. The host-family kindly supported me. And at last I could enjoy everyday as a member of the family. I enjoyed cooking in the evening, baking cakes, playing games, shopping, playing at the beach and etc. My best memory was that I stayed with the family.

We visited many places which include scenery spots, Robert Townson elementary school, Sydney, Manly Beach, planetarium, police office and etc. We saw koalas, wallabies, kangaroos. All they were very impressive.

When the mother said to me "You are my son" on bidding farewell, I was very much pleased. Home-stay in Australia has become one of my treasures in my life. I would like to express my appreciation to everyone concerned. Thank you.

About Australia

Aoi Amaki

My first impression at Sydney airport was how large the earth is, because it is winter now in Australia in spite of the fact that it is summer now in Japan.

I joined this program because of the following two reasons. First one was that I would like to know foreign cultures. Second one was that I would like to develop my communication capability in English.

I have had much interest in English for long time, because my parents gave me many opportunities to listen to English music and to see English movies from my child-hood. But I had no confidence to communicate in English. That why I wondered if I could not stay for 12 days with the host-family.

Actually when I met the host-family first time, I could not understand what they were saying. So, I impulsively thought I wanted to return to Japan. I had many difficulties, but fortunately the host-family was very kind enough to support me during my stay in Campbelltown. My impression was that they keep good communication among them during breakfast, lunch and dinner. I thought that Japanese family should take in such habit.

I appreciate their kindness to take us to various places. Australia is rich in greenery. Sky is very wide and clean. The roads are wider than those in Japan. There are wide grassy plains near the houses where wild animals such as cows, horses, sheep and so forth, live. Due to wide land, almost of houses are one story. We can seldom see two story buildings in Australia. All Australian people I met were frank and kind.

On August 1, my host-family took me and my friend to the sea which had no litter and was cleaner than Japanese sea. I strongly hope Japanese sea will become clean just like one in Australia.

We visited Robert Townson elementary school. The pupils were very cute. I was very glad to see that they willingly talked to us and requested us name cards.

We instructed them how to make cranes with ORIGAMI and they enjoyed it.

At the reception, we performed English songs and SORAN BUSHI. I thought it was successful, because the host-families and other guests enjoyed them.

I understood that English is very difficult for me through this home-stay. Therefore I resolved to study English harder. I appreciate everyone for giving me opportunities to have good memories. Thank you.

Touched warm heart

Leader Yukako Shibata

When I was nominated as a leader of Koshigaya Youth Delegation to Campbelltown, I was very much surprised, and I wondered if I could not play the role, or it is physically impossible for me to go abroad because I am a housewife.

But my family supported the program because it is good opportunity not only for me but also for my family.

We leaders were expected to meet the students and their parents on June 12 for the first time. Mixed feelings of nervousness and expectation were observed among the students. On the other hand, we felt strong sense of responsibility to take care of them. The die is cast. We had 6th orientations. In the beginning, the students were very shy, but they became familiar with each other at last. In order to cover our shortage of information, we leaders also asked many questions to the people who had already stayed in Campbelltown.

When we paid a courtesy call to Koshigaya city office, we were welcomed and encouraged by the mayor and many other people, that made us realize we are representatives of Koshigaya city.

In Campbelltown, the host families warmly welcomed us, but the students were very nervous. On Sunday, we atayed with host families. According to the schedule, all of us were making bus-tour together from 4th day to 8th day. In the bus, they began talking about the different cultures they experienced. Several members of Campbelltown Association escorted us. Driver and the escorts were always paying attention to the students to make comfortable atmosphere. They appreciated their good will using correct English after confirmation. In the morning, they saluted in English each other "Good morning". When we visited Robert Townson elementary school where they learn Japanese, they welcomed us in Japanese. We enjoyed songs of both countries, ORIGAMI, sports, and therefore we could exchange cultures. I am sure that it was very impressive for both students.

At the welcome party sponsored by the mayor, the students performed YOSAKOI SORAN and TOKYO ONDO odori in 'kimono' with the host- families.

At this moment, I felt authentic cultural exchange with Campbelltown people, that was very much impressive.

We learned a lot during our wonderful stay of 12 days in Australia; what the Australian history is like, how much they are paying attention to saving water, how large the land is and so forth. My good memories in Australia are big treasures in my lifetime.

Lastly, I appreciate Campbelltown people for their kindness and good support during our stay in Australia. Thank you.

Escorting 24th Youth Delegation and Bonds

Leader Yuji Kitago

Before starting for Australia, I was quite uncertain and worrisome about going abroad. How are the students like? Can we return safely? Can they be familiar with the host-families? Can I communicate with Australian people in English? I had very precious experiences in my life in Australia. I have ever been abroad, but home-stay was first experience for me this time.

When I first met 15 Youth Delegation members on June 12, they were very nervous, that was very impressive and unforgettable. At the first stage of the orientation program, some were insincere, and others were negligent, therefore it took long time to decide performance to be done in Campbelltown. But as the orientation program proceeds, I understood their good personalities, and my worries disappeared.

26 years have passed since the sister agreement was signed between Koshigaya and Campbelltown. During the period, our predecessors have established good relationship and deepened mutual understanding between Koshigaya and Campbelltown. Mr. Mark Annett, president of Campbelltown-Koshigaya Sister Cities Association, the association members and the host-families extended us the warmest welcome.

We had many experiences; stayed with the host-family, sang songs for example "UEO MUITE ARUKO", performed odori for example "TOKYO ONDO", visited Robert Townson elementary school, enjoyed natural scenery spots and departed with tearful eyes. My experiences in Australia are beyond description. The same thing should be said with the students. I strongly hope that they can utilize their experiences for their better life in future, and good relationship between host-families and the students, not to mention among the students will last forever.

In the end, I would like to express my heart-felt appreciation to Campbelltown people for their kindness and good support during our stay in Australia. Thank you.

The bridge between Koshigaya and Campbelltown

Koshigaya Hirakata Junior High School

3rd Grade Mina Hasegawa

I stayed in Campbelltown, Australia, from March 26 to April 6 this year, during which I learned a lot about Australian cultures and had close contact with many people. I had very much impressed by the experiences I never had in Japan before.

The biggest reason why I joined the exchange program this time was that I had wanted to have as many foreign people as possible understand Japanese cultures. Actually, it was very difficult for me to introduce them Japanese culture. I remember that I made every effort to teach them Japanese culture with broken English and gestures. They were very kind to try to understand what I was saying. To my surprise, elementary and junior high school children in Campbelltown could speak simple Japanese, for example 'KON NICHIWA'. I was very glad to know that many people were interested in Japanese languages.

The people in Campbelltown are very friendly enough to say hello to everyone encountered everywhere; at a station, shopping mall, park and so forth. I have a feeling that they so-called instinctively can say hello to others. I hope that Japanese people can also say hello to others without hesitation like them.

In Australia, there are much more forests than in Japan and I felt that air is very fresh and clean. I was very much impressed with so many kangaroos living at ease in the mountainous areas. The stalactite cave which I visited on March 30 is more mysterious and exciting than Japanese one. When I experienced the culture of 'aborigine', I got very much excited. I am very happy to say that I had directly experienced as mentioned above.

Through this program, I had much more concern about international exchange issues. Taking this opportunity, I would like to become a member of Koshigaya International Association, and make every effort to have as many as foreign people understand Japanese culture.

Thank you.

My home-stay experience

Koshigaya Nishi Junior High School

3rd Grade Mana Nakazato

I like English very much and have had strong hope to go abroad for speaking English for a long time. The dream has come true at last. Our junior high youth delegation left Japan for Australia on March 26. Home-stay is my first experience this time. I was too excited to sleep in the air plane due to mixed feeling of anxiety and expectation.

First meeting with the host-family was scheduled in the next evening. I was very much delighted to find out an acquainted face which I had remembered through e-mail picture. When one of the host-family members hugged me saying "Nice to meet you, Mana", all my anxieties were gone. In the car on the way to their house, they asked me something about Japanese life, but the speaking speed was too fast for me to follow. So, my challenge was to what extent I can brush up my English during my stay in Australia.

My host-family members, the Blackburns, are all fans of rugby. In the first day afternoon of home-stay, we enjoyed watching rugby game with loud music and bustling audiences, which is very popular in Australia. I found a kind of different culture there. They took care of me just like a real family member.

I had a very unique experience I never had in Japan before. The elder sister took me to the house where she serves as a baby-sitter. She took care of two boys. They freely tried to communicate with me without knowing I am a foreigner. I felt I realized true meaning of communication.

On the last day, we gathered in a local hall to introduce Japanese cultures; tea ceremony and Rock Soran Bushi. When I said "Good by" to the host-family, I could not stop crying. Even after returning to Japan, I have a feeling as if I were still in Australia. I am very happy to say that I enjoyed my stay in Australia, and could have confidence to communicate with foreign people.

Thank you.

We Love Aussies !

We Love Aussies !

We went as delegates to Koshigaya's sister city Campbelltown in 2000. When we were there, the Aussies were kinder than we could have ever imagined and all of us have very precious memories of Australia because of that. We all became close friends with the children in our families. We were very moved when they taught us their games. The first thing they taught us was "Paper, Scissors, Rock" (The Australian Juanken) That was the first time that we had ever seen it because this game was exactly the same as the Japanese version. It made us very happy to be able to spend time together.

The week went by so quickly the before we knew it, it was the day of the farewell party.We had very mixed feelings about it. But as soon as the party started those feelings disappeared. Everybody loved the performance that we practiced so hard in Japan. When we started to sing the Australian national anthem, naturally the Aussies started to sing with us. It moved us profoundly. There were so many other wonderful things that we did but they cannot all be mentioned in this article.

We were able to exchange ideas with lots of people on this delegation and we all have precious memories of the trip.. We would like to keep in touch with those people we met then, and cherish the great experiences we had in Campbelltown.

Kie Abe 2002 Spring

Kie Abe 2002 Spring

I went to Koshigaya's sister city Campbelltown as a member of a junior high youth delegation in this spring. It was my first experience to go and stay abroad. I couldn't imagine how this stay would be at all. So I was really nervous. But the hearty reception of my cheerful and friendly host family and all the Australians who I met put me at ease. While I was spending time with Aussies, the most impressive memory was being received as a member of the family and a friend, not as a foreign visitor. My English was not good enough to communicate perfectly, but they tried to do everything in order to express their feelings and understand mine. Of course they asked about my opinions, and usually they asked me to help them in the home.

We were lucky enough to take part in the school sports of the junior high school there. We were puzzled over what to do and what to say at first, but the Australian students came up to us with smiles. Then we introduced Origami, Japanese calligraphy and so on to them, and we got them to introduce their Australian games too. I was really having a good time. Finally we exchanged e-mail addresses. I could make my first foreign friends at that time!

The last day in Australia, my tears never stopped thanks to such wonderful memories Even now, I thank everyone from the bottom of my heart that made my stay there comfortable and happy. These experiences broadened my outlook remarkably, and that gave me a new view of life.

Of course I really want to go back there soon, but I also want to go other countries I have never been to. I am sure it will be wonderful too if I take the challenge with my heart opened. This experience taught me so.

↑ Back to Top