Japanese students study Rocky Mountain culture
Wednesday, Jul 29, 2015 03:08 pm
From the Pacific Ocean island to the vast Canadian Rockies, 30 Japanese students are visiting Canmore to learn what makes Canadians Canadian.
The students are from the Konan Joshi Junior and Senior High School – an all-girl private school in Kobe, Japan, about 20 kilometres west of Osaka. They have a beginner’s understanding of the English language.
When describing Canadian culture, thoughts of gooey poutine, bronzed maple syrup and Canada’s favourite animal – the beaver – come to mind, but the students will get knowledge inside the classroom at Canmore Collegiate High School and on nature excursions.
Perhaps, though, living alongside their host families over their 12-day visit will give them the strongest sense of just who Canadians are.
“(The students are) told when they live with their host families that there’s not one culture (in Canada) there’s many, there’s not one kind of way of living, so that’s pretty interesting for them,” said Jude Simmonds, a Konan Joshi English teacher.
When the students return to Japan they will create attention-grabbing posters of their visit to present for the school to see, said Simmonds.
Students Mami Nakai and Haruno Nishimura, both 15 years old, are enjoying their first trip to the Canadian Rockies. The pair said they are enthusiastic about the visit and activities planned.
“I want to study English and the culture of Canada,” Nakai said.
Brittany Faux, program coordinator teacher, said the girls are becoming more talkative as they acquire further knowledge in the ESL class and most of the education they will learn will be centred around the Rockies.
“We’ve tried to stick to (teaching about) Alberta and Canmore and Banff because that’s what they’re going to see,” said Faux. “We are going to speak a little bit of Canadian geography, but it will more so be the Rocky Mountain culture as it’s unique compared to the rest of Canada.”
Organizers of the trip plan to visit iconic sites such as Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, with hikes scheduled around Canmore and museum tours.