Macleans College students experience Japan on Ritsumeikan Exchange

Posted on February 12, 2024

Two Macleans College students seized the opportunity to immerse themselves in Japanese culture for two months during the school summer holidays.

For Year 13 student Devlin Li (Mansfield House) and Year 12 student Sicheng Fang (Hillary) this marked their first international trip post-COVID. Their time spent in Japan resulted in tremendous improvements in their Japanese language listening and speaking skills.

Macleans College has a longstanding relationship with the Ritsumeikan Exchange Program. Macleans College Japanese teacher Mrs Hoshino commented 'I hope their enthusiasm for learning Japanese continues to thrive; inspiring other students to embark on similar journeys.'

Here are the students' experiences in their own words:

'Applying as a transfer student for a foreign country can be rather intimidating. I thought the same before applying to the Ritsumeikan Exchange Program in Japan, however my optimism about experiencing something outside of my comfort zone pushed me to go through with the program. In the end, I couldn't be more grateful that I got to experience an entirely different culture while improving my Japanese through interactions with the friendly community in Uji. I have made lots of new friends, learnt habits that improve my daily routine, and have opened my eyes to experiencing new things by myself during my time as a transfer student in Japan.'
Devlin Li.

'Over the seven weeks of the exchange, I not only witnessed a significant improvement in my Japanese language skills but also gained a memorable experience that will stay with me for a lifetime. The club activities at Ritsumeikan were a highlight; all the members were incredibly kind and welcoming, conversing with me in Japanese to help enhance my language abilities as an exchange student. During the winter break in Japan, I created lasting memories with my host family in Osaka. Despite the brief two weeks, we thoroughly enjoyed the cultural atmosphere and lifestyles unique to Osaka. Additionally, I am grateful to the International Center of Ritsumeikan Uji for providing me with the opportunity to participate in the 2023 Ritsumeikan Model United Nations (MUN), an experience akin to United Nations-like debating. It was truly a great place, enriched by the presence of excellent people with whom I formed lasting friendships.'
Sicheng Fang.