Activity Reports

Medan Nakamura School x Nanyo Elemenrtary School, an exciting encounter after over two years of exchange activities

Cross-border exchange

On 30th May 2023, 19 students from the Medan Nakamura School in Medan, Indonesia, made a study visit to Japan. On this occasion, ASEAN special class was held where they exchanged with 5th grade students (about 130 people) at Nanyo Elementary School in Koto-ku, Tokyo.

Deepening ties through online and letter exchange

The bond between the two schools began with an online exchange in October 2021 during the pandemic. Their friendship was subsequently deepened through two rounds of correspondence. Although they were not familiar with each other’s environment, their common interests to their age group like anime, school lunch and children’s play kept cheerful communication.

Exciting meeting over two years

On the day of the event, the school was filled with the warm excitement of welcoming known friends. All the students gathered in the school yard, which was a little muddy from the previous day’s rain, and the class started with the opening ceremony.

The fifth graders of Nanyo Elementary School presented a group performance with flags, which they had practiced for the previous week’s Sports Festival, and the students of Medan Nakamura School were awestruck. One of the Nakamura School students commented “Your performance was really amazing” in Japanese language.

Performance by Nakamura School

The stage was moved to the gymnasium, where Nakamura School also gave a performance. Following the traditional dance, the students danced to a Japanese song “365-nichi no Kami-hikoki,” which is also popular in Indonesia, and sang a musical song “This is me” in English, which are familiar to Japanese students.

Presentations in each class

Both schools were divided into four groups to give presentations in a classroom. Each class of Nanyo Elementary School made into smaller groups ingeniously explained various topics ranging from the four seasons of Japan, customs, what to bring to school, tourist attractions, or anime characters. There even was a group that prepared video with Indonesian subtitle. Nakamura School, on the other hand, gave a presentation introducing school life in Japanese. Although Nakamura School offers Japanese language classes, it is not easy for them to give a presentation in Japanese. However, they were able to show the results of their hard practice. During the Q&A session, many students asked many questions like: “How do you learn to speak so good Japanese (a foreign language)?” Surprised to know you have an hour lunch break. How do you spend your time?” “I envy you that you are allowed to bring snacks to school. “” What time do you get out of school?”


Both sides were familiar with each other through online and correspondence, so they quickly became friends and had an energetic exchange. A Nanyo Elementary School student rushed to the teachers to comment, “Even though I don’t speak their language, we became friends!” One from Nakamura school said, “Everything is awesome, I want to be a student of Nanyo Elementary School!”

Although time was limited, we were able to realize that an exchange programme can leave a mark on each student’s life. This special ASEAN class served as an opportunity to deepen interest and understanding of both countries and became a cornerstone of ASEAN-Japan friendship and cooperation for the next 50 years.

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