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Henley High School and Kofu Daiichi High School celebrate 20 years of cultural education

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Two decades of friendship, cultural exchange, and mutual learning mark the milestone celebration between Henley High School in Australia and Kofu Daiichi High School in Japan. The bond between these two educational institutions has thrived through the exchange of students, creating enduring friendships and enriching experiences.

“For the past 20 years, our partnership with Kofu Daiichi High School has been a cornerstone of our international programs. The partnership is not just one of traditional education, it also provides authentic intercultural understanding and fosters deep appreciation of Japanese and Australian culture among all our students. We are grateful to both our own school and Kofu Daiichi High School for their unwavering commitment to this partnership, which has enriched the lives of many students.”

Mr Tony Sims, Principal, Henley High School

This week, Henley High School is delighted to welcome a group of 20 students from Kofu Daiichi High School as they embark on their study tour in Australia. This visit not only commemorates the long-standing partnership between the two schools but also signifies the continuation of a tradition that has enriched the lives of many students over the years. During the visit, the students, supported by their Henley buddies, will learn how to play Aussie rules football, see our native wildlife at Cleland Wildlife Park, work on their English language skills and discover more about the Australian way of life.

By living with host families, attending classes, and participating in cultural activities, students gain firsthand insight into the daily lives and traditions of their peers in another country. These experiences not only broaden their perspectives but also cultivate empathy, adaptability, and resilience.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic presented unprecedented challenges, disrupting the flow of international travel and temporarily halting the study tour programs. Despite the setbacks, both institutions remained committed to maintaining their connection and finding alternative ways to engage students.

“As educators, it is our responsibility to provide students with opportunities to explore the world beyond their own borders and develop a global mindset. Thanks to the dedication of both Kofu Daiichi High School and Henley High School, our partnership has flourished, allowing students to forge meaningful connections across cultures and gain invaluable life skills.”

Mr Yoshihiro Kawasaki, Visiting Teacher, Kofu Daiichi High School

As restrictions ease and the world gradually recovers from the pandemic, Henley High School is excited to announce plans for the next study tour to Japan in 2025. This eagerly anticipated opportunity will once again allow Australian students to experience the rich cultural heritage and vibrant atmosphere of Japan firsthand.

In the coming months, Henley High School will work diligently to organise the study tour, ensuring that it meets the highest standards of safety and educational enrichment. Eligible students and their families will receive invitations to participate in this transformative journey, laying the groundwork for new friendships, unforgettable memories, and valuable lessons that will last a lifetime.

As we celebrate 20 years of partnership between Henley High School and Kofu Daiichi High School, we reflect on the profound impact that cultural exchange and international collaboration can have on shaping the minds and hearts of young people. Through continued dedication and shared enthusiasm, we look forward to many more years of friendship, learning, and mutual respect between our two schools.

Thank you, homestay families!

20 years of such rich first-hand cultural education experiences couldn’t be possible without the generosity of our homestay families. We extend our heartfelt thanks to the hundreds of host families who have opened their homes over the years, making these study tours possible and fostering bonds that transcend borders.