This past Thursday, I was lucky enough to find out where I will be staying in Japan for ten months starting August 17th, 2010! I am told that I will be living in Koto-ku, Tokyo! I will be going to what seems like a VERY well-off private girls’ school. But I also found out my host family: a host mother and host sister. The host sister is the same age as me! 🙂
Even though I was open to living anywhere in Japan, I was probably leaning toward being placed in the countryside just because I am a farm girl at heart. Therefore, I was extremely surprised when I found out that I was going to live in Tokyo-but not disappointed at all! Moreover, I am glad to experience what city life is all about and already am fantasizing about shopping in Shinjuku, Harajuku, or the other trendy shopping centers in Tokyo!
In order to dream about life at my host school, though, I first had to look up all the information I could find on it on the internet. Based on my hasty research, it is a very large school- more than a thousand girls go there and there are only three grades. That means each grade has more than three hundred girls! Where I come from, we have only about a hundred people in each grade, so I am blown away by that number. Also, I looked up the uniform I will wear and found that it costs more than two thousand dollars for the summer and winter set! Luckily, the school has offered to lend me the uniform, so I don’t have to pay for it. I do have to pay for three different types of shoes, though. I do not understand why, but Japanese high schools require indoor, outdoor and commuting types of shoes. Thankfully, again, the school will lend me a PE uniform and a school bag.
The school itself, based on the few pictures I have seen so far, is spot clean and has a beautiful, airy, green campus. The cafeteria has TVs all over it, the bathrooms are huge and beautiful and the library well-organized. They even have a large room dedicated to foreign exchange students! That brings me to my second point, which is that the school is very international. It has a sister school in New Zealand, welcomes foreign exchange students from all over the world, and the school trips go to New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, and Canada. I am thankful that the students there are so dedicated to accepting foreigners!
I have already emailed my host mother and have received an email with some pictures of her and her daughter. They look very kind and I am very excited to meet them in a month and a half! 🙂