Daiko Yoshida loved celebrating Thanksgiving Day in Nanaimo, but regrets he won't be here to participate in Halloween. Yoshida, a Grade 11 student from Kokusai Gakuin High School, was one of 37 Japanese youngsters who are spending two weeks in the city as part of a cultural and education program hosted by the Vancouver Island University International High School.
The students spent Wednesday morning mingling with younger children at Park Avenue Elementary School, teaching the local students customs and traditions from their homeland and practising their English.
"It's really beautiful here and I love the fact that many of the Canadian traditions and holidays are quite different from those celebrated in Japan," Yoshida said.
"The students at (Park Avenue) have been very welcoming and showed real interest in us and where we're from. I'd really like to come back."
Ali White, who is in charge of group programs at VIU, said the group is one of several from countries from around the globe that come to VIU each year for short stints to help with their English language studies and to introduce them to Western and local cultural traditions.
She said that approximately 1,600 international students come to VIU each year to study full-time in university courses, attend the high school or for short visits like the current group from Japan.
Park Avenue principal Robbie Dhillon said his school has been hosting visits from international students from VIU for years, and they have had helped his students understand the different countries and cultures from around the world with a first-hand perspective.
RBarron @nanaimodailynews.com 250-729-4234
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