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Re: "What does Ketchikan get out of the Kanayama exchange program?"
by Cameron Mackey


March 30, 2004

I am addressing the issue of "What does Ketchikan get out of the Kanayama exchange program?".

Well last year I was one of twenty students chosen from Schoenbar to represent Ketchikan for the exchange program. I know from first hand experience that this program is a life changing and view altering event that has had a huge effect on my idea of Japanese culture. Ketchikan gets an enormous amount of respect over in Kanayama. Kanayama is a great place and the people are extremely welcoming to the visiting students who have come to see what the country has to offer.

What Ketchikan gets out of the exchange is that the students at the schools learn and adapt to their way of life when they visit the schools for performances, homestay with families and experience life from a completely different perspective. Ketchikan and Kanayama's sistership needs to be protected.

I think that people who are against the exchange might be ill-informed and jump to conclusions. People need to understand the program only gets support from the school district for sending the teachers that go to the schools as exchange teachers. Kanayama also pays for a teacher. The student body that goes is self supportive and does all of its own fund-raising events. The teachers that visit Ketchikan from Kanayama are a great source of education that tell about Japan and its different ways of life.

Ketchikan has been a welcomer of varied cultures in the past so the real question is "Why break the chain of friendship with other communities all over the world when we get so much out of them?" In a nutshell this program enriches the lives of all that are involved.

Cameron Mackey
Ketchikan, AK - USA


Related Viewpoint:

What does Ketchikan get out of the Kanayama Exchange Program? by Tony Hatano-Worrell - Kanayama, Japan


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