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Japanese Youth Exchange 2017 presentation

Published: 26/10/2017

Six Flintshire students who travelled to Japan for the 2017 Flintshire Optec Japanese Youth Exchange gave a dazzling presentation of their experiences recently. The six young people talked about their experiences to an audience of other students interested in applying for the 2018 exchange at a Presentation Evening hosted by Councillor Brian Lloyd, Chairman of Flintshire County Council. Sophie Hodby, Cassia Hashempour, Megan Owens, Phoebe Lewis, Ellie Harper, and Samuel Wiggs visited Japan in August to stay with Japanese host families in the towns of Murata, Kawasaki and Zao. They discussed their experiences of Japanese life, including living with a Japanese family, what kind of food they ate and the places that they visited during their two week stay. They also talked about hosting their Japanese students in this country, showing them aspects of Welsh culture and spoke about the bonds of friendship that were created over the four weeks of the exchange. The students showed slides of their visits to Tokyo, shrines and places of natural beauty and other images of their many activities such as traditional paper making and attending festivals. Councillor Lloyd said: The links forged by this exchange are unique in offering the opportunity for both countries to come together to share ideas and learn about each other’s way of life and culture. The youth exchange has proved to be a major success for developing an understanding and tolerance, particularly in our younger generation, which can only be of benefit to future international relations. I would like to thank the Flintshire Optec Japanese Youth Exchange Trust for its continued and generous funding of the Flintshire side of the exchange programme and also the generous assistance provided this year by Toyota UK, Deeside, Calbee UK Ltd and the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation. The Flintshire parents who welcomed Japanese students into their homes agreed that it had been a ‘once in lifetime’ experience for the whole family, and they would recommend it to any family whose child was interested in applying for the 2018 exchange. The exchange is coordinated by Flintshire Optec Japanese Youth Exchange Trust and open to all students aged 16 -18 on 1 September 2017 in full time education in Flintshire high schools and colleges. Applications for the 2018 exchange are due to be returned by Monday 13 November. For further information or application forms contact Karen Jones, Japanese Youth Exchange Coordinator on 07759295984 or by email to