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Japanese Senior High School

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Japanese Senior High School

Postby honoraryasian » September 13th, 2007 2:50 am

Hi all,
At the end of this year I intend to go as a exchange student to a High School in Japan.So I thought I might make a thread in which we could discuss the common features and differences in a Japanese Senior High School.

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Postby aprichar » October 30th, 2007 5:34 am

Hi honeraryasian,
I'm a teacher at a Japanese girls' high school, originally from the States, and I've been in Japan for about 3 years now. When I first arrived, some of the differences were shocking to me. For example, students at my school are kept to a very strict dress code; no jewelry, no makeup, only school-approved uniforms, including special socks and jackets. Sometimes, groups of teachers go walking around downtown after school to catch students who are breaking the rules (wearing makeup, usually!) The community really keeps an eye on the students too, and they don't hesitate to complain by phone or email if a student wearing my school's uniform has bad manners... such as eating sweets on the train. That being said, I've also been surprised at behavior in class, such as sleeping or chatting. It's much more accepted here than in the States! So, in some ways it's less strict here.

The student teacher relationships here are really interesting. I was expecting there to be a very strict divide between students and teachers, since I'd heard about the formality of the Japanese classroom. I was wrong! Student and teacher relationships are so friendly! A lot of students come to the teachers room after school to hang out and chat with their favorite teachers. Many homeroom teachers act like guidance councilors, helping students with their personal and social problems, in addition to their academic life. And teachers reveal much more about their personal lives that teachers back in the states. It's really nice!

I've had several exchange students from all over the world in my classes. Always, when they first come they're really lonely because their Japanese isn't so good. And, at least at my school, the Japanese students are curious and friendly, but don't really try to become friends with the exchange students at first. However, as the exchange students' Japanese gets better, they always begin to make friends and end up having a great time. My advice to you is push through any loneliness you might feel at first, and STUDY STUDY STUDY Japanese. Don't be afraid of making mistakes when you speak the language (it's my favorite way of making my students laugh!)

Good luck!

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Postby dmr214 » November 20th, 2007 8:40 am

Where in Japan are you going to be? I think it makes a big difference. If in Tokyo, probably less of the teachers constantly watching your back I'm thinking as opposed to say Kyushu.

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