OCDSB Students Journey to Japan for Summer Exchange Experience

OCDSB Students Journey to Japan for Summer Exchange Experience
Posted on 08/31/2023
OCDSB Students Journey to Japan for Summer Exchange ExperienceThis summer, 34 OCDSB students from four secondary schools experienced Japan through an exchange program organized by the Ottawa-Carleton Education Network (OCENET).

Students from Colonel By Secondary School, Canterbury High School, Gloucester High School, and Cairine Wilson Secondary School joined host families from Yamate Gakuin High School in Yokohama for two weeks of cultural activities and sightseeing.

To kick off their journey, the group joined fellow exchange students from across North America for a cultural exhibit organized by Yamate Gakuin students. They enjoyed traditional music, watched dance performances, and had the opportunity to dress in a Japanese garment called a yukata for the day.


During their stay, the students explored a beautiful traditional garden, boarded a river cruise through Tokyo, and took in the views from Tokyo Skytree, the world's tallest tower. They also participated in many activities with their host families – from enjoying delicious cuisine to visiting iconic landmarks. They capped off their trip with a day at the Tokyo DisneySea theme park.

This trip helped students build cultural competencies to become socially responsible global citizens. It allowed them to practice their language skills – several participants have been learning Japanese through classes at Gloucester High School and the District’s International & Indigenous Languages Program. And it offered an unforgettable adventure that sparked many new friendships.

“My experience was fantastic,” said one attendee, “I couldn’t have imagined a better experience. Everything went well.” Other students echoed: “It was just like I had hoped it would be!” “I only wish that it could have lasted two weeks longer!”


This trip marked the second chapter of the Ottawa-Yokohama exchange, which began in April when the OCDSB welcomed 70 students from Japan. Since the program launched in 2016, the District has partnered on three exchanges with Yamate Gakuin High School.

If you are interested in exploring future exchange opportunities and other study abroad programs available to OCDSB students, visit the OCENET website.


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