LANSING, Mich. — The DeWitt Middle School (DMS) welcomed nine 8th grade students from Koka City, Japan, on Friday, January 10th, as part of the school’s week-long Japanese Student Exchange Program. In February, ten DeWitt students will spend a week with host families in Japan. The Exchange Program marks its 22nd year of providing opportunities for Japanese and American students to experience each other’s educational systems and cultural features.
Micah Takeshi Cousins, the Japanese Language & Culture teacher at both the DeWitt Middle school and High School, coordinates the Exchange Program originally developed by now retired teacher Larry Arbannas.
The DeWitt students hosted a welcome breakfast on Monday, January 13th at 7:40 a.m. in the DMS cafeteria with special guests that included the Dewitt City Mayor and Dewitt School Superintendent. Throughout the week Koka City students will shadow their host students as they attend classes. Other planned activities include shopping in the community, visiting local sites like the DeWitt's Township Fire Station, Sweetlie-licious, excursions to the State Capitol, and the campus of Michigan State University.
"The cultural experience will provide some incredible memories for our students and open their eyes to another world and future opportunities," Cousins said. "The children come away from this experience amazed by all the differences in each other’s daily lives."
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