Busselton - Sugito Sister City Student Exchanges Still on Hold But Local Students Still Experience Japanese Culture!

Published on Tuesday, 2 August 2022 at 12:04:00 PM

Busselton’s Annual Student Exchange Program with its Sister City Sugito (Japan) may not have been possible for the last two years due to Covid and travel restrictions but the Busselton and Sugito Sister Cities Association (BASSCA) has ensured that local students still get to experience the unique Japanese Culture.

The exchange program would normally be in full swing in August with local Busselton families hosting students from Sugito. Students from the City of Busselton would then normally visit the Town of Sugito in the October School Holidays.

“This has been extremely disappointing for those students in years 7, 8 and 9 who have eagerly been waiting for the opportunity to take part in this exchange” said BASSCA Student Exchange Coordinator Mary-Lee Kemp”

Over 250 Busselton students and their families have benefited from the unique homestay exchange.

The Busselton and Sugito Sister Cities Association who administer the city’s Sister City relationship were determined to keep local youth engaged with their program and last year developed a full day excursion to Perth to experience Japanese Culture.

Two Teachers and 22 local students travelled to the Hyogo Centre in Perth last month and took part in Calligraphy, Hanko, Obento and manga workshops. They also experienced a Japanese Tea Ceremony Demonstration and Tasting.

“This Japan Immersion Day, provided something for everyone, and the feedback from attendees has been very positive. Each of the activities on the day was someone's favourite, which means the organisers did well, catering to a range of interests," said Group Leader, Tracey Smith.

“By developing this one day cultural immersion we are hopefully keeping their dreams of overseas travel to experience another culture alive. Other options will be available to them as older students and young adults when normal international travel resumes”, said Mary-Lee Kemp, Student Exchange Coordinator.

Another added benefit of this one day program is that when the usual Busselton Sugito Exchange program resumes, this one day immersion could be available for students who might not otherwise be able to travel overseas.

The Australia Japan Society of WA supported this initiative for the first time this year.Uncertainty still surrounds when the student exchanges might be able to recommence.

**Objectives outlined in this statement are aligned with the City of Busselton’s Strategic Community Plan (2021 - 2031) Key Themes, Opportunity: A vibrant City with diverse opportunities and a prosperous economy.

Ends. Media enquiries can be directed to pr@busselton.wa.gov.au 

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