For grade five immersion students at Katoh, the school trip to the United States is the highlight of their elementary school career. This year, 31 students embarked on a two-week journey that covered over 10,000km. This adventure was divided into two parts – Utah and Oregon.
In Utah, students experienced the outdoors while camping and hiking in the splendid scenery of Zion National Park and surrounding areas. For many, this was their first time to camp in a tent and sleep in a sleeping bag under the brilliant stars of the night sky.
Provided were opportunities to marvel at the world’s tallest sandstone cliffs and develop a new appreciation for the wonders of nature that will last a lifetime.
After roughing it in the wilderness of Utah’s desert, the second stage took place in Portland, Oregon. Here, students were fortunate to enjoy a home stay and attend five days of school with their new American buddies. Katoh students are always impressed by the warm welcome and friendliness of their new American classmates and home stay families. This weeklong event culminated in participation in a night of Halloween and trick-or-treating.
The long-lasting benefits of the trip for students are immeasurable. Students are given an opportunity to use their English in a real world setting and broaden their horizons. Their increased understanding of a different culture fosters a more caring and wiser global citizen.
This year’s US trip was a great success, as students returned happy, healthy, and with a bounty of Halloween candy! — TROY SHANKS