SIX young Japanese exchange students have enjoyed an educational and cultural experience that will give them lots to talk about on their return home.
The girls all in their early teens were accompanied by a teacher, earned their trip to Port Stephens through excelling in a leadership program run by Yugawara Town Hall.
These trips can be expensive but local voluntary help has not only taken the edge off the cost but enriched the experience.
While in Port Stephens, the students were home hosted by St Philip’s Christian College families and are attending classes at the school.
Fingal Bay Sports Club kindly loaned a bus to transport them to and from Sydney, with a retired coach driver from Shoal Bay behind the wheel.
Nigel Dique told News Of The Area that members of Port Stephens Sister Cities Committee arranged cultural trips,
including a Council visit, tours of Sketchley Cottage and historic King Street in Raymond Terrace, and an Aboriginal cultural program at Murrook Centre.
“We also had a farewell Aussie barbecue at the Nelson Bay Community Arts Centre for the group.”
“A retired Japanese couple residing in Shoal Bay translated information handouts about Port Stephens and Worimi history for the students.”
“It’s heartening to belong to a community that can pitch in to make a visit by keen young kids all the more worthwhile,”
The Sister City program is run through a Port Stephens Council 355C committee which meets regularly.
You can find out more about how you could be involved in Port Stephens’ sister city programs at www.portstephens.nsw.gov.au
By Marian SAMPSON