Rotary Exchange Student Genevieve Nightingale in Japan. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Outbound Rotary Exchange student, Genevieve Nightingale is coping well in her new home in Japan.

Nearly all exchange students were sent home during their lockdown, but she was one of the lucky ones who was able to remain.

Saying that she was doing well, she added, that “covid-19 is still quite worrisome here in my prefecture and so we are still being very careful”.

“My school is being very cautious and has put in necessary measures to try and keep the children safe which is great.”

She had been on a small trip to meet the new governor of the Rotary prefecture, describing it as “loads of fun” and the first time since the lockdown that she has gone anywhere.

“I’ve been trying to make new friends and have even joined the school karate club.

“Everyone there is so nice and we have fun, but they also like to do a lot of exercise which has proven a little difficult for me as I haven’t done much exercise, if not any exercise outside of school PE classes this year, but I’m pushing through”

Japan has a different school year from New Zealand and Australia, with the school year ending in March and starting in April due to wanting to start school in spring – a time of renewal.

Having arrived in January, Genevieve joined at the end of their school year, and quickly realised that her Japanese communication skills needed work and started studying.

When she received news that she would be sent home, she was distraught, but thanks to being calm and level-headed, and with the help of several people, she was able to stay

“I studied even harder, even getting a teacher on video call once a week, and by the end of the corona-induced extended holidays I returned to school.”

She has a few close friends and is still studying hard.

“The exchange definitely isn’t fun and games, it’s a lot of work and seemingly no reward at first, but I have learnt so much and cannot wait to learn even more over the remainder of my exchange, the fun will grow with time and so will my knowledge.”



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