Japanese language students plan return to Fukuyama sister school


Waipahu and Fukuyama Iyo students on a previous school visit. Photo courtesy of William Smith.

For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic, Waipahu High School Japanese language students will be traveling to Fukuyama, Japan. Students will leave Hawaii on June 3 and return June 18.

Over the past three months, students went through the application process to travel to Japan. In late January, students sent in applications, including essays, and were evaluated by Japanese language teacher William Smith. Once essays were selected, interviews were scheduled in late February and continued into early March. There, Smith selected the top six students who met the requirements. Selected students then created video profiles for their host families in Japan. 

During their two weeks in Japan, the students will be staying with host families and attending Fukuyama Iyo High School with their host siblings. At the school, they will be expected to attend classes to experience what it’s like to be a Japanese student. They will also be participating in a cultural school event on their last weekend there. Finally, students will visit sites such as Hiroshima Peace Park and a Shinto shrine. 

This trip marks the 10th anniversary of Waipahu High School’s partnership with Fukuyama Iyo High School.