Three weeks ago our students embarked on a journey of personal growth. Over the course of three weeks, they have had experiences and made memories that will last them a lifetime. This morning our students said goodbye to their homestay families and friends made here in San Diego. It's always hard to say goodbye, but I think they are eager to return home, to see their families and to have a home-cooked meal, Japanese style.

 Thank you for checking in and reading the daily posts (in English!) We are on our way home! (2019/3/31)

 In the morning, students met with their teachers one last time and reflected on their experiences here in San Diego. Then at 10:30, we had our closing ceremony. The teachers and the staff at CSUSM, as well as the volunteers and many of the host families were all in attendance! Everyone was so delighted by our students final presentations. They explored a variety of topics, and highlighted differences and similarities between Japanese and American culture. They really did an outstanding job! We were also treated with the finished product of our beautiful mural painting!

 In the afternoon, students headed over to Sky Zone to release all of their stress from their morning presentations. They had a wonderful time and naturally they didn't want to leave! Tomorrow is our last full day in San Diego and students will spend the day with their host families.(2019/3/29)

 With just one day to go before the closing ceremony, students worked diligently on polishing up their final presentations. Over the past two weeks of classes, outings and other extra-curricular activities, students have had a chance to learn about American culture first-hand while reflecting on their own. Tomorrow they will share with the teachers and homestay families what they have learned through their various experiences here in San Diego.

 In the afternoon, students picked up their paint brushes and collectively created a beautiful work in the style of a mural. Within the mural are messages, some hidden, others direct, that reflect the hearts and minds of our students after spending two weeks at CSUSM. I can't wait to see the finished product! (2019/3/28)

 With just two more days to go, students worked hard on putting their final presentations together. They also learned how to plan for a party. Students tried to speak in English, even when working amongst themselves. Of course, it is unnatural for them because they are used to speaking in Japanese, but I feel they are making a real effort.

 In the afternoon, students learned what a "mural" is, and the process of making one from a local artist. They brainstormed in groups about themes that they could incorporate into a group mural project. Tomorrow they will have a chance to bring their ideas to fruition in the art studio! (2019/3/27)

 It was a perfect day for a trek through Safari Park. In the morning we took a guided tour where students had a chance to learn about rare and highly endangered animals and their habitat. In the afternoon, we took the Africa Tram Safari where we were able to get up close with some of the world's most majestic animals.

 After touring Safari Park, students had a chance to relax and squeeze in a bit of shopping at Westfield North County Mall, one of the larger shopping malls in the city. (2019/3/26)

 Back to work. After a few days of off-campus activities, students returned to the classroom to work on their final presentations which they will deliver before the closing ceremony on Friday. Students are working in small groups and exploring differences and similarities between Japanese and American culture.

 In the afternoon, students were treated with presentations from local Japanese professionals and entrepreneurs. It was a productive day for our students. (2019/3/25)

 Once again, our visit to Torrey Pines High School proved to be a great opportunity for cultural exchange. This time our students introduced Japanese games, a Japanese snack "ねるねるねるね" and a popular Japanese dance to students who are studying Japanese. It was an engaging experience and everyone had a wonderful time. After lunch, we took a tour of the campus and played some sports. Everyone greeted us kindly and we even had a chance to talk with the vice principal. This weekend our students will spend time with their homestay families. (2019/3/22)

 Today, we split the students into two groups. Half of the students explored the city of San Diego. They visited La Jolla Shores, UTC Shopping Mall and Old Town. The other half went to Torrey Pines High School where they introduced different aspects of Japanese culture to students who are learning Japanese. It was a beautiful day and both groups had a wonderful time.(2019/3/21_02)

 21日(木)・22日(金)は、グループを2つに分けてSan Diegoの高校訪問と観光をします。
 我われが訪問したTorrey Pines High Schoolは、約2500名の生徒が在籍する大変規模の大きい公立高校です。Torrey Pines High Schoolには日本語を学べる授業があり、桜美林の生徒たちはその授業に参加しました。
 サト先生のリードで交流が始まり、桜美林のグループ①は「ソーラン節」について、グループ②は「J-POP]について、グループ③は「Japanese Toy」(けん玉と折り紙)について発表し大変盛り上がりました。
 昼食後は桜美林の校歌や好きな歌を歌ったり、日本語や英語のしりとり、浴衣の着方を練習したり、Torrey Pines High Schoolの生徒が作った日本語の文章を桜美林の生徒が添削するなどして、とても面白い交流ができました。 (2019/3/21_01)

 生徒の通うカリフォルニア州立大学サンマルコス校は大変広大な敷地面積を有しています。高低差もかなりあるため移動には多くの階段も使わないといけません。午前中は一番端にある建物「Social Behavioral Science Building」(SBSB)の4階で授業を行いましたが、ホストファミリーに学校まで送ってもらい車から降りた後、この教室を見つけるまでが一苦労でした。
 午前中は高校訪問で行うプレゼンテーションの準備を行い、午後は「Taboo」という言葉の連想ゲームやDisneyキャラクターのゲームに興じました。先生からは「Only speaking in English」という指示がありましたが、みんな興奮するとつい日本語が出てしまい、まるでふだんの放課後のような楽しい雰囲気でした。(2019/3/20)

 午後は「Campus Scavenger Hunt」というアクティビティでした。2~3人で1グループとなり、制限時間までにテーマに合った写真を撮ってくるという内容です。大学の構内は分かりにくい場所があるので、誰かに英語を使って質問することもこのアクティビティの目的になっていました。スターバックス・コーヒーの前やエレベーター前でグループの写真を撮るというテーマもあれば、Dr.Seussの本を読んでいる人の写真を撮る、大学構内でユニホームを着た人と一緒に写真撮る、など面白いテーマが13も用意されていて、生徒たちは2時間近く構内を巡って写真を撮っていました。



 昼食後、午後は電車でOcean Sideへ移動しました。気温は20度近くまで上がり、水着の人もいる海岸で、生徒たちはゆっくりと過ごしました。




 本日3月13日から4月1日まで、高校生29名がカリフォルニア州立大学サンマルコス校(California State University San Marcos)での語学研修を中心とした短期留学に出かけます。

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