Map of Ibaraki, Mito

Every year Riverside’s Multi-cultural and Japanese teacher, Ms. Catherine Yamomoto makes an effort to connect students from different cultures to experience new ways of learning. This year, 33 students from Ibaraki High School, located in Ibaraki Mito, Japan, came to visit Riverside Secondary on November 17. They only had a short five day trip, but they still got to experience and learn about Canadian culture and to share their own in return.

Students writing in Japanese.

The school wanted to come to an environment that was safe and comforting, and they have decided that Canada would most likely be the best option for them. After visiting a travel agency to pick out school’s to visit, the travel agency knew Yamomoto, which helped finalize the decision of where the students would visit. The students were divided into three groups, and each group visited different schools located in Vancouver and Coquitlam, such as Riverside and some groups visited UBC as well.

One of the clay figures made by the visitors.
The Japanese students baking cookies.

Their visit at Riverside Secondary was eventful and educational both for the Ibaraki and Riverside students. They visited different classrooms to get an idea of how education and culture is in Canada and how it is different from Japan. A teacher from Ibaraki High School, Yuji Uchida commented that he found it interesting that students can choose from an extensive list of electives such as Foods, Wood Working, Journalism, and Art instead of just the main core subjects that students study in Japan. Their trip included many fun activities, such as making clay figures, listening to music fusion
performances, making chocolate fondue, and baking cookies in cooking class. The Japanese students also enjoyed giving presentations about different aspects of their culture and life in Japan to different teachers, such as Mr. Oliver Mietzker.

Even though the Japanese students weren’t fluent in English, they were still able to find ways to communicate with the Riverside students and share their culture with each other.