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On the afternoon of the Gladstone Show Holiday, 13 Japanese exchange students from Jonan State High School arrived- while exhausted by their long journey, the students were very eager to experience Australian culture. They were greeted by a ‘traditional’ Australian barbeque and their host families, with whom they would spend their time with for the next four days with. Thursday was their first day at school at which they were welcomed by Toolooa SHS; a parade consisting of speeches by Matt Burnett, acting Principal Justin Harrison, and Toolooa students, gift exchanges and fantastic performances of music, and Indigenous traditional dance. The Jonan students thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Throughout the day, they received countless ‘konichiwa’s’ from around the school- extremely surprised by the number of times students say ‘hello.’
On the weekend, the students spent time with their host families, immersing themselves in Australian culture by experiencing everyday activities and exploring surrounding areas. Notable places which were visited include, Koorana Crocodile Farm, Rockhampton Zoo, Cooberrie Park, Yeppoon and Agnes Waters.
Below are descriptions on behalf of several visiting students regarding their stay in Australia. They were asked about what they thought about Australia, and their favourite thing in the country.
Written by Jasmine Elliott.