AFS Japan has been appointed to run an exciting new program infusing Japanese public schools with global education, collaborating with the Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education. In 2017, together with AFS organizations in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Thailand and the United States, AFS Japan will provide opportunities for 80 foreign students to attend public high schools in Tokyo.
Tokyo is one of the biggest international cities in the world but many of Tokyo’s public high schools are still behind in terms of global education although their strong desires to become globally connected have always been there. Making the most of the opportunities of a two-way cultural exchange supported by AFS’ extensive experience in intercultural education, this program will meet the larger need to be more interculturally connected and more active as a member of the global community. While foreign students will be learning about the unique Japanese culture from their first-hand experiences, the local community will also be exposed to new and diverse people.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education has been promoting such unique exchange programs for their public high schools since 2016. Through this new partnership with AFS, 10 high school students and a chaperone from the United States went through their own intercultural experience in three public high schools in Tokyo in mid-July. Sarah Yancey, an experienced AFS-USA volunteer and an educator who accompanied the group says of the experience:
“Even our very short stay with host families in Tachikawa, Suginami and Machida have provided a wonderful opportunity for American and Japanese students to develop friendships and take the first important step to become global citizens. Schools and host families graciously welcomed American students and introduced them to Japanese school life.”
Students from the remaining four countries will arrive to Tokyo by the end of this year. For more information, please contact AFS Japan.