2013 Horikawa High School Visit – 堀川高校訪問2013年

Alice from KPIC!      京都府国際センターのアリスです!

On December 16th and 20th the CIRs of Kyoto Prefecture went to Horikawa high school in Kyoto City to participate in an interview about our respective countries and culture, and give a presentation about multiculturalism.


Interview with the students 学生によるインタビュー

Interview with the students

On the 16th, all the CIRs writing for this blog ( Mark (Scotland) from the Kyoto Prefectural Office, Eric(Australia) from Kameoka, Brian(America) from Kizugawa, Steven(America) from Seika and me, Alice(France) from the Kyoto Prefectural International Center) participated in an interview by the students about the culture of our respective home countries and how we viewed Japan and its culture, as well as the current state of foreigners living here. Students had prepared really precise questions such as “how much would you say you know of the Japanese language” or the cultural faux pas to avoid when going abroad and it was sometimes hard to answer, even though it made me think a lot about my own culture and identity. It was fun to ask back the question to the students and see them think really hard too.

Alice from France, CIR at the Kyoto Prefectural International Center フランス出身のアリス、京都府国際センターの国際交流員

Alice from France, CIR at the Kyoto Prefectural International Center


Presentation 講演会


On the 20th, Brian and I went back to give a short presentation about multicultural societies in France and the US, to speak about the problem of multiracial identity and the current state of multiculturalism in Japan. Students were really reactive to our talk, laughing or nodding as we spoke, and after a brief moment of shyness, they asked a lot of questions at the end, mainly about how to interact with foreigners and how to behave when faced with different cultural codes and attitudes. I wished we had more time for discussion in a more casual atmosphere after the presentation but it was a really rewarding experience!

Presentation 講演会



Brian (Kizugawa) – 木津川市のブライアン

Brian from America, CIR at Kizugawa  アメリカ出身のブライアン、木津川市の国際交流員

Brian from America, CIR in Kizugawa

It was great to have the opportunity to have an international understanding lecture at Horikawa High School. It was my first time presenting to a big crowd so I was quite nervous. However, I think we had an interesting and informative talk with the students. Bombarded with information today, sometimes we may have wrong ideas or impressions of others, may it be a foreigner or a member of a culture. With this lecture, I hope the students understood the increasing trend of multicultural countries and diversity, as well as its problems in the globalizing world.


With limited time, we couldn’t have enough time to answer many questions from students. I hope there will be more opportunities to interact with students not only to share interesting cultural differences of our countries, but also lead them to see our similarities as humans.


Eric (Kameoka) – 亀岡のエリックより

Eric from Australia, CIR at Kameoka オーストラリア出身のエリック、亀岡市の国際交流員

Eric from Australia, CIR in Kameoka

I was interviewed by two students and they asked me some very interesting questions about Australia. Such questions included country and cultural differences between Australia and Japan, differences in greetings, manners etc.

They were surprised at facts such as that public transports don’t run as conveniently like Japan and that the vending machines do not work properly at times.

The questions were fun and interesting but became more difficult when we moved onto the human rights issue topic, which included questions about bullying and racism in Australia.

The students listened with interest and it was a lot of fun answering some unexpected questions. I hope they will find the information that I gave useful for their overseas study trip.

Mark (Kyoto Prefectural Office) – 京都府国際課のマークより

Mark from Scotland, CIR at the Kyoto Prefectural Office スコットランド出身のマーク、京都府国際課の国際交流員

Mark from Scotland, CIR at the Kyoto Prefectural Office

I had a really great time with the students interviewing me. Not only did they seem keen and enthusiastic to know more about the UK and Scotland, but they came up with good questions that made me really think about the answers, so I think even I learnt a little more about my own country too!

Steven (Seika) – 精華町のスティーブンより

Steven from America, CIR in Seika アメリカ出身のスティーブン、精華町の国際交流員

Steven from America, CIR in Seika

The interview at Horikawa was my first time visiting a high school since becoming a CIR, so I was not totally sure what to expect. However, I found the students to be open-minded and inquisitive. At the same time, I could infer from the questions that they asked that they had an image of America as a dangerous place full of guns. I hope that their upcoming trip allows them to discover the positive aspects of travelling abroad and gain a more accurate image of the world outside of Japan.