Our Sister School is Saitama Prefectural Kumagaya Girls’ High School in Japan.
Southland Girls’ has a long history of exchanging with our sister city in Kumagaya, Japan. We started a reciprocal relationship with a school there back in 1993, soon after our sister city agreement was signed. Our current sister school relationship with Kumagaya Girls’ High School began in 2009. We alternate years to travel to each other’s schools and participate in cultural exchange programmes. During our exchanges students experience a homestay. This provides both students and families with an amazing opportunity to learn about new cultures a different ways of life.
When groups from Kumagaya come here we put on special classes and activities for them to experience New Zealand and Southland Culture such as:
• Cycling at the Velodrome
• Clip‘n Climb at the Stadium
• Global Minds class
• Farm Visits
• Kiwi Cooking class
• Maori Culture Class
• Dance Class
• Primary school visit
When we visit Kumagaya special programmes are organised for us in reciprocation. We get to experience things such as:
• Japanese flower arranging
• Japanese tea ceremony
• Japanese cooking class
• Kimono Dress up Opportunity
• Students take part in after school club activities
• Primary school visit
• Kumagaya City Bus Tour
Our girls’ and their families benefit from these exchanges in a number of ways. Overarching benefits of sister school relationships are that what is involved throughout the exchange programmes links to the New Zealand Curriculum vision of students becoming confident, connected, actively involved, life-long learners. Through experiencing a wide variety of new activities in the host country, students become more and more confident as the exchange progresses. They start to connect with the new culture – adapting their behaviour to fit in.
They start to actively involve themselves in homelife more and interacting with their host sister’s/brothers and families more meaningfully. In doing this the students start to become global citizens which is something extremely important in the world today. Being open to new ideas and opportunities that different cultures portray.
Kumagaya Girls’ Upper Secondary School website: https://kumajo-h.spec.ed.jp/