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Junior enjoys summer study in Japan

After six weeks in Yuzawa-shi Japan, Deloach learned about another culture but also about her own

Mariko+Deloach+poses+at+school+with+her+classmates+in+Japan.++Deloach+attended+school+throughout+her+overseas+summer+program+because+school+was+still+in+session+there.
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Junior enjoys summer study in Japan

Mariko Deloach poses at school with her classmates in Japan.  Deloach attended school throughout her overseas summer program because school was still in session there.

Mariko Deloach poses at school with her classmates in Japan. Deloach attended school throughout her overseas summer program because school was still in session there.

Photo courtesy of Deloach

Mariko Deloach poses at school with her classmates in Japan. Deloach attended school throughout her overseas summer program because school was still in session there.

Photo courtesy of Deloach

Photo courtesy of Deloach

Mariko Deloach poses at school with her classmates in Japan. Deloach attended school throughout her overseas summer program because school was still in session there.

Mia Terminella, staff reporter

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Junior Mariko Deloach spent the summer of 2018 across the globe in Japan. Deloach stayed with a host family, attended school and lived the everyday life of a teen in a different culture. Deloach went to Japan with the foreign exchange program, Youth For Understanding.

Youth for Understanding, or YFU, is a nonprofit international educational organization for intercultural exchange programs. The group’s core belief is that full cultural immersion is the most effective way to learn the skills you need to survive in a multicultural and competitive global society.

Deloach said that she was hesitant to apply to the exchange program at first.

“My dad initially pushed me to go to Japan so I could learn a little bit more about my heritage,” Deloach said “I was pretty reluctant at first but the opportunity of a foreign-exchange program began to sound more interesting as I researched it.”

It was an amazing experience and I have learned so much.”

— Mariko Deloach

Deloach applied to the organization’s youth high school summer exchange program. The application consisted of high school transcripts and essay and reference letters. Youth for Understanding’s programs are meant to fully immerse the student in the culture of the country they are attending. Deloach was accepted to the program and departed from Austin in early July. After a 17-hour long flight she arrived in Japan and was greeted by her host family. Deloach was in Japan for a period of six weeks, and lived in a very small town called Yuzawa-shi located in North Japan.

“It was very rural and mountainous,” Deloach said. The city of Yuzawa-shi is located in the Japanese Alps and is known for its hot springs and skiing. While there, Deloach experienced a wide range of opportunities such as attending school most days, playing soccer with classmates, exploring the gardens in the city, going to the hot springs and experiencing the overall culture. Deloach said that the relationships that she was able to make with her host family, classmates and friends in Japan changed the way she views her life in this country everyday.

“Being able to see how a society so different from America works within itself, and watching how everyone interacted with each other really made me question how I treat others” Deloach said. “It was a really good moral experience.” After the six week program, Deloach returned to Austin in late August. “It was an amazing experience and I have learned so much” Deloach said.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Junior enjoys summer study in Japan”

  1. Arlo Sever on January 14th, 2019 3:51 pm

    this is a good story but you could have included more pictures in there because not a lot of people have seen japan

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




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