Brien McMahon sophomore, Andrea Herrera, is a student studying Japanese in CGS. This is her second year opening up her home to Japanese students. Last year, she had hosted a girl named Yuki. This year, from March 14 to March 26, she hosted two second year high school students from Japan named Yutaro Takeuchi and Tomofumi Seto.
Herrera enjoys hosting because she gets to meet new people and learn about them and their culture. When asked what this experience was like for her, Andrea Herrera replied, “Amazing! I love learning more about their culture, they are very good at English and are very eager to learn more!”
One thing she learned was that “in a lot of ways we were very similar. For instance, we like the same video games and we like to have fun with our friends. However, I noticed that when they [Takeuchi and Seto] talk to each other, they are very quiet whereas we [Americans] like to talk loud and yell. Takeuchi and Seto are also very polite; they apologized and said thank you a lot,” Herrera recalled.
However, Andrea Herrera wasn’t the only one learning from this experience. Herrera said of Takeuchi and Seto’s time here, “They had so much fun in America that, when it was time to go back to Japan, they said that they were sad to go and wanted to stay in America. At first, they were very shy and didn’t talk much, but after awhile they opened up. We constantly talked about how loud Americans are compared to them, but they found it interesting how we are always full of energy.” The students themselves gave their input on what America was like for them. Yutaro Takeuchi exclaimed, “I like the food; I tried lots of different foods. American food is very good!” Tomofumi Seto said, “I made lots of friends in America. Everyone was very kind.”
For both Andrea Herrera and the Japanese students she hosted, this was a very eye opening experience that allowed them to each learn about different cultures. Because of this, Herrera highly recommends hosting. “It is an amazing experience. Some people really like it and some people don't. But, every year hosting is different. I liked this year better than last year because I just felt like I connected more with my hosts and I felt more like I knew what I was doing because of the experience from last year. Regardless, hosting is very fun and even people who don't know any Japanese could have a great time doing it.”