This morning we farewelled our friends from Myojo Gakuen.   After 15 years of visits, it still doesn’t get easy to say goodbye.  We are sure that they feel the same. What a wonderful 8 days we have enjoyed with our 21 Myojo students and 4 staff joining our Woodend community.

We had 21 fantastic host families, with many hosting for the first time. Our host families were super busy over the shortened stay of 8 days, taking the students to many places around Adelaide and involving them in a wonderful family life. We know that our families benefit so much too.

Our teachers and classes were once again very welcoming and thoughtful in making our Japanese students feel so included.

After landing in Adelaide on Thursday evening, nearly 24 hours since arriving at Tokyo airport to start their adventure, we held a Welcome dinner here at school. It was wonderful to see the smiles on faces when the Myojo students got off the bus and arrived at Woodend. So much excitement!

Friday’s Welcome Assembly was a great way to start their time here at Woodend. With the shortened stay, we were still able to fit in an excursion to the Central Market with the Yr 5/6 and Yr 6 classes, skipping with Mr Z, visiting a junior primary class as well as being part of a class and experiencing day to day events. It was jam packed!

The Farewell Assembly is always a wonderful show case of the Myojo students’ talents, and this year was no exception. We watched skippers, dancers, kendo stars, giant origami experts, scientists and for the first time ever, taiko drum players. What an exciting time it was! It was a great assembly and a lovely send off.

After 8 super busy days, students and staff have a night in Sydney before heading back to Tokyo on Friday.  The goodbyes are always a sad time but shows us that great friendships and bonds have been formed.

We are very grateful to all 21 host families. This year it was great to see the new families join those families who have generously taken part in previous years. This great program could not happen without the support of all the wonderful host families. arigato~.

Thank you to everyone involved in the homestay program and we look forward to another great experience next year in 2025.

Welcome assembly

Market excursion

Market excursion, lunch time!

Welcome dinner

Joining in in classrooms

Visiting junior primary classes