At Nara University High School we take great pride in providing a well rounded and balanced education for each and every one of our students. This is reflected in our philosophy to give our students every possible opportunity to participate in meaningful interactions with peers and individuals from a variety of cultural backgrounds. We provide a number of such opportunities throughout the year with the explicit intension of broadening students’ view of world affairs and to foster better cultural understanding in general. In addition to providing regular English Conversation classes with a native English-speaking teacher, our International Relations Department also actively promotes cultural awareness through the following activities for our students:
・School Group Visits & Homestays
・International Exchange Programmes
・Video Conference Calls
・International School Excursions
・Sister School Agreements
Each year we are pleased to welcome a number of visiting school groups to NUHS. These visits give students a chance to interact with peers and explore cultural differences and similarities. Visits have included hosting students and accompanying guests from Taiwan, China and Australia. An extended stay from one of our sister schools, Dickson College in Canberra, Australia, is always one of the highlights on the school calendar. In addition to a short stay at our on-campus dormitory facility, Seminar House, our Aussie mates participate in a homestay experience, spending time at students’ homes extending the cultural learning for both parties far beyond the confines of the classroom. In a relatively short period of time students often strike real connections and create relationships that continue to thrive long after the official visit has come to an end; memories and meaningful relationships are created that stand the test of time. Saying goodbye is always an emotional occasion but knowing we shall meet again, either on this side or that side of the Pacific, serves as motivation to further explore each other’s language and culture.
Please feel free to contact the International Relations Department should you be interested in playing host to some of our visitors during a future visit. (Email link)
We are extremely proud to be associated with Rotary Club and their extensive international student exchange programs. Each year we welcome international exchange students to our student body for an extended stay. These students join regular classes, club activities and participate in all school events, adding a hint of international flare to the daily lives of our students. The learning is visible and is clearly a two-way process as students exchange banter and opinions on cultural differences and personal experiences throughout the day. This is in addition to language learning opportunities that present themselves during school hours and with support for extracurricular language studies. In recent years we have welcomed students from all corners of the globe, including visiting students from Hungary, Australia, the United States and Belgium.
Being an ‘exchange’ program, we also offer our students the prospect of spending twelve months of their high school life abroad. This is a wonderful opportunity to absorb the culture and language of a foreign land. We see students return with a broader international awareness, wider network of international acquaintances, advanced linguistic competencies and a new found sense of maturity that are all in turn, shared with the student body upon return. Recent destinations have include Sweden, Holland and Australia.
We are pleased to offer our students the opportunity to participate in real-world dialogue with peers at our sister-school, Dickson College in Canberra, Australia. This contemporary synchronous-communication tool has proven to be an invaluable output instrument for students’ English language studies, not to mention great fun along the way for all involved. It allows students to see and learn firsthand about Australian school life and establish relations with peers on a distant continent, all from the comfort of our L.L. Classroom. The world of international communication just got that little bit smaller.
These excursions form a valuable and unique stepping stone for all of our second year students on their path to further cultural awareness. Each year, the students of each course pack their bags and head off to a foreign land for an unforgettable cultural learning experience. This invaluable experience is not simply limited to sightseeing and shopping but often also encompasses a visit to a local school where our students have the opportunity to interact with peers in an enjoyable fashion and facilitates real-world international communication.
Though destinations vary on a year-by-year and course-by-course basis, recent trips have included destinations such as Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra, Australia.
The annual trip to Canberra, Nara’s sister city down under, by our Eisu Course, allows pupils to soak up the local language and culture for a longer period of time in addition to promoting Japanese cultural traditions during school visits and a homestay experience. This culminates in a very special opportunity to appear on stage at the annual Canberra-Nara Candle Festival held in the lush surroundings of the Nara Peace Park, adjacent to tranquil Lake Burley Griffin. This wonderful event draws thousands of revellers each year who come together to celebrate relations between the two nations.
With the cities of Canberra, Australia and Nara, Japan, formally establishing a sister-city agreement in 1993, the two cities have enjoyed a long and successful relationship. This sentiment is proudly reflected at Nara University High School through our own sister-school agreements with:
University of Canberra Kaleen High School, Canberra Australia
Signed by Principals, Mr. Hirotoshi Takeda & Mr. Denis Dickinson, 17th October 2008
Dickson College, Canberra Australia
Signed by Principals, Mr. Shigeharu Sakai & Mr. Rob Emanual, 26th October 2012
These agreements with our friends in Canberra facilitate meaningful peer interaction between the respective students and institutions in general. Our second year Eisu Course pupils are fortunate enough to be able to visit our Canberrian counterparts on an annual basis for a school visit and homestay experience. We are always welcomed with open arms by the teachers, students and parents and are hugely grateful for the outstanding level of hospitality and the generosity shown.
Conversely, we are extremely pleased to welcome our close friends at Dickson College every second year. With our sister-school agreement having been formalised in 2012, this blossoming relationship is sure to only strengthen over time, providing mutual learning opportunities and meaningful interaction for many years to come. Relations between students are further cemented with regular video-conference calls between our respective English and Japanese language classes throughout the year.