The Spartan Sentinel

Another Life

Kazuki Hayashi Compares School in Japan to School in the United States

Akiko Ishikawa, Staff Writer

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Have you ever wondered what it is like to go to a different country with new experiences? Murray has many foreign exchange students every year.

One of our foreign exchange students, Kazuki Hayashi, is currently enrolled as a sophomore at Murray High and is from Saitama, Japan which is located just northwest of Tokyo.

Now many have the same question when meeting a foreign exchange student: why?

Why did you choose to come to America?

Kazuki is full Japanese with two Japanese parents, but was originally born in Texas. He lived in Texas for about a year after he was born and then moved to Japan. After moving to Japan he still goes back and visits and has friends in Texas.

He has a 22-year-old brother and a 17-year-old sister and both are fluent in English. When Kazuki goes to Texas he cannot communicate with people.  He sees how easy it is for his siblings to communicate and looks up to them and wishes that he was able to communicate the way his siblings can. He wants to be able to express himself and how he misses his friends that live in Texas.

He talked about how he is adjusting and what he thinks is so different about here compared to Japan. One thing he says he is struggling with the most is not being able to express himself. He is still not used to the English language and most of the time doesn’t know how to say or understand things. He never knows if or when he has homework or even what is on his next test, which has been very hard on him.

He has been so surprised on how different school and interactions with people have been since he has gotten here. 

One thing he said that was very different, is how students switch classes every period. In Japan students stay with a homeroom class all day and it’s the teachers who move in and out of the class instead. He said that he prefers to stay in one class all day because it is easier to build friendships.

Another thing that is so different for him is how the rules are enforced.  He said assemblies and classes in the United States are less strict. In Japan, students sit up straight during classes and don’t talk unless called on.

In a Japanese assembly, students stand straight and listen to the principal for an hour. Also, students can only go to school as a natural you: no makeup, piercings, jewelry, accessories, hair dye, and you can’t even wear your own clothes. Most schools provide a school uniform along with gym clothes.

He also said that interactions with people are different. Here, when a student sees a friend in the hall they just say “hi” and are kind to the other person and wonder how their day is going. 

In Japan, it is not that way. When saying “hi” they just find something to tease the other about that may or may not hurt their feelings.

He likes that the people here seem to have more of a kind heart.

Kazuki is looking forward to this year. He is excited to adjust and be able to understand things. He thinks it would make being here so much more fun. Because of his love for soccer, he is also so excited to be able to tryout for the high school team. He is already enjoying playing club soccer outside of school and getting to know people at the same time.

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