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Japanese students visit Roncalli

GPI US participants shadow students for the day

PEACE+OUT%3A+Junior+Beatriz+Venegas+and+her+shadow+Sayaka+Tsukiyama+pose+with+peace+signs+for+a+photo.+The+two+girls+spent+the+day+sharing+laughs+before+saying+their+goodbyes+at+the+end+of+the+school+day.
PEACE OUT: Junior Beatriz Venegas and her shadow Sayaka Tsukiyama pose with peace signs for a photo. The two girls spent the day sharing laughs before saying their goodbyes at the end of the school day.

PEACE OUT: Junior Beatriz Venegas and her shadow Sayaka Tsukiyama pose with peace signs for a photo. The two girls spent the day sharing laughs before saying their goodbyes at the end of the school day.

Photo by Kara House

Photo by Kara House

PEACE OUT: Junior Beatriz Venegas and her shadow Sayaka Tsukiyama pose with peace signs for a photo. The two girls spent the day sharing laughs before saying their goodbyes at the end of the school day.

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On Wednesday March 28, Roncalli hosted 44 students from Shonan High School in Japan. The students visited through the US chapter of Global Partners Institute (GPI US), a program aimed at empowering youth through teaching “leadership skills, cross-cultural understanding, critical thinking, and comprehensive English communication” according to its website.

“I want to work with foreigners in the future,” Sayaka Tsukiyama said “so I want to study English.”

Tsukiyama studied English for five years before joining the program and coming to America to test out her skills. While on Roncalli campus, Tsukiyama shadowed junior Beatriz Venegas.

“I loved hosting Sayaka,” Venegas said. “We bonded and learned so much from each others’ cultures in just [8] hours.”

The students involved with the program visited Roncalli for the day before heading to Chicago and then back to Japan for the start of school on April 2.

“[GPI US] researched local Indianapolis high schools and were impressed with Roncalli,” director of admissions Ms. Allie Ross said, “so they contacted me about us participating in their program. After speaking to [principal] Mr. [Chuck] Weisenbach and hashing out all of the internal details, we decided to participate.”

After shadowing a Roncalli student for the first four periods of the day, the shadows and hosts attended a presentation given by four of the Japanese students to their shadow hosts. The program included trivia over Japanese culture and information on the daily goings-on in Japanese schools. Speaking in front of a large crowd can be nerve-racking, even without having to do so in a foreign language, so a few of the presenters had some apprehension about the presentation.

“I’m very excited to communicate with foreign people,” Yuki Haraguchi said, “but I am [also] very nervous because in America I have to speak English which is not my mother tongue.”

Despite the linguistic differences and time constraint, the shadows followed their school’s motto, “always do what you are afraid to do,” and were able to bond with their hosts over the eight-hour day they spent together.

“I think I was literally smiling the whole day at school from seeing the other Japanese shadows with their hosts and just being with Sayaka,” Venegas said. “It was so fun, but so hard when it came [time] to say goodbye.”

Some students even made attempts to keep in touch with their hosts or shadows before the day was over.

“I loved watching the students exchange Instagram accounts, gifts and take pictures with one another before departing,” Ross said.

According to Ross, the event was a success, and time will tell if Roncalli will again be considered for participation by GPI US.

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About the Contributors
Elizabeth Bradley, Staff Writer
Elizabeth Bradley is a junior at Roncalli. She in involved in Linus Club, Pro-Life Club, and Earth Club. After high school, Elizabeth plans to attend a college to study a subject. This is her first year on staff
Kara House, Staff Writer
Kara House is a junior at Roncalli. She in involved in Linus Club and Earth Club. After high school, Kara plans to study in the medical field. This is her first year on staff. Kara enjoys taking naps on the daily.
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Japanese students visit Roncalli