Haddonfield Japanese Exchange gearing up for 2019

Students from Sendai Ikwa Gauken expected to arrive in July; HJE seeking host families

The Haddonfield Japan Exchange (HJE) will continue in 2019, with an improved program. After 12 years of successful student exchanges with Kasukabe Girls High School, the HJE decided to seek another school with which to partner. This decision came about after Kasukabe insisted that only female students from Haddonfield would be invited to take part.

The HJE Committee looked into several options, but finally selected Sendai Ikwa Gauken, a very prestigious co-ed private school. Their first visit to Haddonfield is expected to occur in the summer of 2019, with an anticipated date of arrival of July 12.

The length of their stay has not been finalized, but it is expected to be 10-to-12 days, as they wish to spend a few days in New York City at the end of their visit to Haddonfield. The number of students has not been determined as of yet, since the school year ends at the end of March in Japan. As a result, it may not be until May when we receive the final count of guests.

The HJE Committee is already working to prepare daily activities as we did for Kasukabe. Arrangements are underway to provide a visit to a day camp in New Jersey. In addition, Sendai is located within Miyagi Prefecture, which is similar to our state identification, in the US. Miyagi is a sister state with Delaware. Depending on his schedule, attempts are being made to schedule a meeting between the exchange students and Governor John C. Carney.

Activities for our Japanese guests and our host students will basically remain the same: trips to Historic Philadelphia, tours of Haddonfield, a day trip to the shore, bowling, tubing on the Delaware, and perhaps a Phillies game. All of these activities are chosen to convey the average American lifestyle to our Japanese visitors.

Naturally, these programs come with a price tag, and as in the past, the HJE Committee will be hosting a Sake and Sushi Party and Auction in the spring. This will be one of the fundraisers conducted to support this successful student exchange. Subaru of America continues to be the HJE’s primary donor. The HJE receives support from other organizations, such as the Haddonfield School District, Haddonfield Lions Club, Sagami, and Play It For Good.

The heart of the program, as always, are our Haddonfield host families. Without them, there would not be an exchange program. While some families have volunteered to host in 2019, others will be needed, as we await the final list of incoming students, in April or May.

Host families will be required to provide a bedroom, or one shared with someone of the same gender. Host families will be asked to just continue their normal lifestyle, sharing breakfast and dinner with their new family member. Most daily activities will be provided for the guest, as well as the hosting student. There may be an occasional request for a brown bag lunch.

At the conclusion of the visit, host parents and hosting student will be invited to take part in the farewell Sayonara party. For additional information, please visit, www.HJEx.org, or contact Bill Brown at (856) 429–4368 or billbrown08033@aol.com.