Nirayama High School (NHS) students from Japan visited Poly the week of November 6. Thirty Poly families hosted 40 NHS students for two nights. After this longtime exchange program was interrupted for four years by COVID, GIP program co-leaders Ann Diederich and Rick Caragher wondered how the Poly community would react to this large-scale hosting.
"Simply put, we couldn't be more pleased with the enthusiastic, creative, and generous responses of Poly students and families," said Rick. "We were super impressed as we watched Poly students jump right into eating and conversing with the NHS students upon their arrival at the South Campus."
Each morning, as Poly students brought their NHS students to campus, faculty were regaled with stories about the previous night's adventures. Poly students shared their "intro to LA" action plan from the night before, and the Nirayama 10th graders enthusiastically conveyed the fun they had seeing SoCal and being with Poly families. The mornings were punctuated by huge smiles on both Poly and NHS students' faces.
"The NHS students universally say that the highlight of their trip to the U.S. is not the sights or thrills but the chance to spend time with American families," added Rick.
The Poly-NHS relationship has existed for well over a decade. This year, we asked the NHS students to stay with our students and families for more than one night. GIP's hope is to launch a travel program to Japan in 2025.