Practical Language and Culture at the Heart of Sister City Visit

Twelve students from Thames’ sister city in Japan, Misaki, dove into the Kiwi experience with a nine-day immersion based at Thames High School. 

“They’re a delight,” said International Support Co-ordinator Pauline Whittle, whose family also hosted a student. “It’s a short visit but they do lots.” 

The students lived with host families and spent time in the classroom studying English with a peer tutor from the school plus joining art and music classes. This experience gives the Misaki students a boost in practical everyday language they may never learn from a textbook in Japan. It also brings a unique international perspective into the classroom as Thames students connect with peers from across the world. 

“This was our first time hosting a student and it was a great experience,” said a member of the Schmidt family. “We are still in regular contact with our student.”

Outside of school, students took in a mix of adventure and everyday life with visits to a local primary school, the Thames Goldmine Experience, Rotorura, Auckland and even rock climbing in Hamilton. 

Throughout the year, Thames High School hosts exchange students from Japan and around the world. Learn more in our recent articles about the THS International Food Festival and visiting teachers from the United States.