1st Overseas Training Departure Ceremony
March 4th, 2015 (Wed) — Cloudy with occasional rain
Thirty-eight students in the Course for Inqiury gathered together in the Toyama Kitokito Airport, with a great expectation for the 8 days’ training in the States (Boston and New York).
The ceremony was held in the reception room at 10:00 a.m. Principal Sakura gave them the encouraging words of “Do experience other cultures”. The leader, Vice-Principal Kushita responded, “During this travel, safety comes first’” and the student leader Ms. Ueno expressed their expectation for the coming 8 days’ training, “We are looking forward to making our English presentations and having interactions with the local students there or the host families”.
They left Toyama Kitokito Airport for Haneda Airport at 11:45 a.m.
Let’s hope they will come back safely. We are sure they will be stronger after this training in a different environment away from their family.
1st Overseas Training
Day 1, March 4th — Clear in Tokyo
They flew from Toyama to Haneda Airport, then traveled by bus to Narita Airport.
Everyone was wearing thick clothing in anticipation of the cold weather in the States, but we were too heavily attired for the warm climate in Tokyo.
Day 1, March 4th (Wed) — Clear in Chicago and Boston
We arrived in Boston even though we had some small trouble, but in safe after the long flight. We all were fine.
Day 2, March 5th (Thu) — Cloudy with occasional snow
We gathered at Harvard Square in the morning after leaving our host families’ homes, we moved to Lesley University to go through the orientation. We ate lunch after enjoying the Harvard University Campus Tour and some shopping at the campus co-op.
In the afternoon, after Professor Sara’s lecture on microbes, we communicated with Harvard University students.
We made a presentation to 8 university students on: “Introduction of Takaoka High School”, “Cool Japan”, “Introduction of Toyama”, and “Energy Issues”, and responded to the students’ questions. Then, our students asked them some questions in a panel discussion style.
After an hour strolling around Harvard University, we headed back to our host families.
All were done safely, but with some sleepy faces due to jet lag.
Day 3, March 6th (Fri) — Clear
On a clear morning with a temperature of 14 degrees below zero, we gathered at 7:30 in the Boston Library in front of Copley Square Station.
In the bitter cold weather, we moved to Snowden International High School on foot.
During the welcome ceremony, all were a little nervous, but through the presentation and having lunch together, we made friends with each other.
After a difficult farewell to the befriended students, we moved to the State Hall of Massachusetts on foot, where we learned about Boston history and got a glimpse of parliamentary politics.
We moved to MIT by subway, getting a taste of MIT student life through the campus tour. Then, we went to communicate with the MIT students after some shopping at the campus co-op.
After their two presentations of “‘…’ and ‘=’~What do they tell us~” and “Easy as π” with questions, We communicated with them in 5 separate groups.
Day 4, March 7th (Sat) — Clear
On a fine and comfortable morning, we all gathered at the Park Street Station without any issue. In our freedom trail tour, we got divided into 2 groups and traced their independence history, led by guides in traditional costume.
Then, we enjoyed our lunch and did some shopping at the food court in Quincy Market.
In the afternoon, walking through the fruit market open only on weekends, we visited the Boston Public Library by subway. We also visited the Old South Church across the street. We then enjoyed the view of the city of Boston by looking down from the Prudential Tower’s observation deck.
Today was our last day in Boston. The leader of each group made a speech on the theme “What is the qualification of leadership?”, after their internal discussion, looking back on the past 3 days.
After shaking hands with the trip leaders, Tim, Derek, and Kaori, and receiving the program completion certificate, we closed the session by taking a group photo together.
Day 5, March 8th (Sun) — Cloudy in Boston and clear in New York
In the morning, we gathered in the Park Street Station, dragging heavy suitcases containing a lot of souvenirs. We moved to New York by bus, looking back on the memories with our host families, saying goodbye to Boston.
Arriving in New York, we strolled around the Empire State Building and Madison Square area.
At 5:00 p.m., our last session, “Exchange with the Toyama Society”, was held and we had our last presentation/discussion on this trip. All groups presented and were asked questions and given advice from the society. This was followed by a banquet with the society members in a local Chinese restaurant, where we learned a lot from their rich experiences.
Day 6, March 9th (Mon) — Clear
The second day in New York. We headed to the National September 11Memorial & Museum by bus in the morning after the rain stopped, taking photos of the Statue of Liberty in the distance on our way.
Our next destination was the United Nations Headquarters, where we learned about the function of the UN, saw a real conference, and listened to the guide’s explanation.
After a busy lunch on the bus, we divided into 4 groups and visited the local companies, such as ANA, the Kitano Hotel, Fuji Television, and TKP. Each company’s staff gave us a talk based on their global view of actual activities in different cultural environments.
We enjoyed our last dinner in the States, while talking about our good memories of the last few days, knowing we leave the country tomorrow.
Day 7, March 10th (Tue) — Clear
We left New York.
We moved to JFK Airport from the hotel by bus, and got on the plane for Narita Airport.
Day 8, March 11th (Wed) — Clear in Tokyo, snowy in Toyama
After a long flight of 13 hours, we finally came back to Japan. On the bus from Narita Airport to Haneda Airport, we summarized our trip, looking back and thinking about what had been done and what had not, or about our future after the training.
The plane from Haneda did take off on time, but due to bad weather in Toyama it was unable to land. After circling above Toyama Airport, it had to go back to Haneda.
The Shinagawa Prince Hotel was reserved for us and we headed there by bus.
Day 8, March 12th (Thu) — Clear in Tokyo, Rainy in Toyama
We enjoyed the buffet breakfast in the hotel, and moved to the airport.
1st Overseas Training Dismissal Ceremony
Day 9, March 12st (Thu) — Snowy in Toyama
In the snow, many teachers, headed by the Principal, were waiting for the return of the students, in front of the main entrance. At 3:50 p.m., the overseas training students arrived at the school with a handful of souvenirs, a day later than planned.
The dismissal ceremony was performed in the Keisetsukan Hall, and the Principal made a speech, “The training of this time will be the base of our future overseas training programs. I expect you to convey your experiences in the States to your fellow and junior students”. Representing the students, Mr. Sumitani of the Course for Inquiry on Natural Science stated, “I came to have my own opinion after understanding both the superior and inferior sides of Japan after seeing the States. Please watch us from now on to see how we utilize our experience.” He impressed us with his explanation of their growth.
The teacher leader, Ms. Matsukura, talked about their growth in these 8 days and her expectation for the future programs by stating, “It was a great experience for them to be able to touch the actual things and encounter various incidents. Now they have acquired strength with which they can live through any troubles.”
They came back a day late due to the snow the day before, but in safety, which made us happy. We hope that they will utilize their experiences for their future studies and their own future lives!