Japanese language students at Penrith Selective High School have a new way to practice their linguistic skills thanks to a Skype Exchange Program facilitated by Penrith Council with Hirohata Junior High School in Fujieda, Japan.
The program allows students to digitally meet with students at Hirohata to practice their language skills and conversation, and share experiences of living that are unique to their home countries.
Penrith has a longstanding friendship with Fujieda and currently supports a Skype Exchange between Llandilo Public School and Fujieda Elementary School which has been running since January 2016.
Penrith Mayor, Ross Fowler OAM, said the new Skype Program will help local students improve their language skills and gain valuable insight into the ways their Japanese counterparts view and experience the world.
"This program will give Penrith students the chance to expand their world views and learn about another culture first hand."
"Penrith has had a long and fruitful relationship with Fujieda since signing a Sister City agreement with them in 1984. Throughout the course of this relationship Council has worked with Fujieda to organise student exchanges and cultural programs," Cr Fowler said.
Penrith High student Maggie Li said she is excited about improving her Japanese skills through the program.
"The number one thing I want to do is speak to a Japanese person, but in Australia it is a bit difficult. Through this Skype call program, we'll be able to connect and talk to Japanese school students. That is why I'm really looking forward to this Skype Program."
The Fujieda Skype Program is one of a number of international programs supported by Penrith Council. Other programs include: a Christmas Card Exchange between Our Lady of the Rosary School and Hakusan, Japan; the Western Sydney University Exchange with Kunshan University, China; the Student Ambassador Program with Fujieda, Japan and Council's annual Korean Flag Raising Ceremony.
"Along with The Fujieda Skype Program, these events and activities provide valuable cultural experiences for our residents and contribute to making our community more inclusive and globally connected," Cr Fowler said.
For more information visit Council's international partnerships webpage.