Going back to Gojo

March 31, 2024 BY

Longterm friends: Gojo Senior High School from Japan and Girton Grammar School have been sister schools for 30 years. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

STUDENTS and teachers from Gojo Senior Highschool in Japan are coming to the end of their two-week stay in the region.

Hosted by Girton Grammar School, the trip was the first since COVID-19 travel bans came into effect.

It also signifies 30 years of partnership between Girton and Gojo, that have run exchange programs as sister schools since the early 90’s.

The Gojo guests were hosted by families from Girton Grammar, which Liz Blanks, head of Japanese at the school said was a life-changing experience for students.

“From our perspective, you cannot put a price on the value of meeting young Japanese people in real life and discovering shared interests despite language and cultural differences,” Mrs Blanks said.

The exchange program is one of the longest running in regional Victoria with Gojo sending students to Bendigo, and Girton Japanese language students travelling Japan during Spring or Summer holidays since 1992.

The 12 Gojo students who visited this year were invited to take part in Girton’s athletics carnival, had the opportunity to tour to Melbourne, and participated in language exchange.

In September this year 16 Girton students and two teachers will travel to Japan to experience school life at Gojo and visit cities including Osaka and Hiroshima.

“I encourage every young person to consider hosting a Japanese student or travelling on exchange to Japan,” Mrs Blanks said.

“There may be no other time in their lives that they can have such a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the language and culture.”