Hosting French High School students from Lycee Paul Eluard

International Exchange

Hosting French High School students from Lycee Paul Eluard

Yamanashi Prefecture

As a designated Olympic Host Town to France, Fujiyoshida city is strongly committed to implementing social, economic and cultural exchanges between our two countries. As part of this initiative we organized an exchange between a group of students from the Lycee Paul Eluard located in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis and students from our local Hokuryo High School to learn about each other’s respective cultures.

This program was part of an educational initiative made possible by local fundraising in Saint-Denis to give students from this largely immigrant, largely underprivileged population an opportunity to see the world and dream of a brighter future. We gratefully agreed to take part in hosting the group along their tour of the Japan as a chance to further expand our cultural exchange with France. The students at our local high school took time out of their regular classes to plan for the exchange and showcase their own version of omotenashi, Japanese hospitality, for the occasion.

When the French students arrived in Fujiyoshida, they first headed to the world-famous scenic overlook at Arakurayama Sengen Park and explored the area with the students from Fuji Hokuryo High School. We were blessed with beautiful weather on the day of their visit and the students were able to enjoy clear views of Mt. Fuji and cherry blossoms, which as luck would have it were also in season during their visit. Upon returning to the high school, the French students were welcomed by a performance by the brass band club, then moved on to an origami activity. For lunch, the Japanese students prepared “Yoshida-no-udon,” a local specialty noodle dish, for the French students and set up a station where the French students could participate in “nagashi-somen,” the fun Japanese pastime of sliding small clumps of somen noodles down a bamboo shoot slide and catching them with chopsticks before dipping it in a noodle broth. During the meal the students were able to communicate with each other despite the language barrier.

Following lunch, the students split into groups and rotated through different club activities such as sado – tea ceremony, shodo – calligraphy, and kyudo – archery.

Though their time together was limited, this experience gave the French and Japanese students a valuable opportunity to have fun learning about their respective cultures while overcoming their language barrier.

As the French students prepared to depart, it was apparent how much to two groups had been able to bond as they snapped last minute photos and exchanged contact information. Eventually they were ushered onto their bus and waved their final goodbyes.

Date: April 20, 2019 (Saturday)
Place: Arakurayama Sengen Park / Fuji Hokuryo High School
Participants: Jean-Francois Sable (French National Center for Scientific Research)
      13 second year students from Lycee Paul Eluard
       4 educators from Lycee Paul Eluard (including Mr. Jean-Pierre Aurieres)
       3 TV producers from France
       22 third year students in the Business & Tourism course at Fujihokuryo High School

【students explore Arakurayama Sengen Park】

【udon & nagashi-somen】

【student exchange through cultural activities】

【saying farewell】

Fujiyoshida City Hall / City Planning Department
International Sports Competition Training Camp Invitation Promotion Office
TEL: 0555-22-1353
(Japanese Inquiries only)


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