Japanese exchange students here

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Tokorozawa Kita High School students on their first day at Ashburton College. Pictured on the left is Ashburton college student Shante Kereopa, who explained the protocol at the welcome powhiri.

Thirty students from Tokorozawa Kita High School in Japan are enjoying a taste of life and school in Mid Canterbury as part of long-standing sister school exchange with Ashburton College.

The students, all aged either 15 or 16, and two teachers arrived a week ago and will depart on August 5.

They were welcomed at the college with a Maori powhiri and have been “buddied” up with students from their host family or other students to attend some lessons.

The visit itinerary includes trips to Riccarton Mall, Canterbury University, Lake Tekapo, Tinwald Primary School and Rosebank.

The students are here to improve their English and to sample life in New Zealand.

Host families are encouraged to cook what they normally eat and to complete normal routines with the visitors, including attending weekend sports and food shopping.

A pot-luck dinner will be held tonight in the college staff room to bring the students, their host families and other supporters of the trip together.

In September a group from Ashburton College, including principal Ross Preece and Japanese teacher Hiromi Horsley, will visit Tokorozawa.