Fuka Suzuki, a 17 year old junior from Hokkaido Sapporo Nishi High School came to Gresham as one of three students participating in a student exchange hosted by the Gresham-Ebetsu Sister City Association. According to the Gresham-Ebetsu Sister City Association, they host this exchange annually. Three high-school aged students from Ebetsu will go to Gresham during the beginning of January to early February, while Gresham students will go to Ebetsu in the summer . This exchange lasts about one month, give or take a few days. This year, the Japanese students arrived in Portland on January six and will leave on February fourth.
As it is an all city exchange, the students could end up at any high school in Gresham that teaches Japanese. The three students this year are split between Reynolds High and Gresham.
Suzuki’s host is Gresham junior Sam Sherman, so she ended up going to Gresham. From Thursday, January fifth to Friday January 22, Suzuki attended school with Sherman and participated in all of Sherman’s classes. January 22 was her last day attending school with her host family. The rest of the time that Suzuki is here in America, she will be attending activities hosted by the Gresham-Ebetsu Sister City Association.
The process to participate in the exchange is rather competitive due to the limited slots (three students) and the number of students who sign up. Suzuki happened to be one of the lucky three that were chosen. She wanted to take this opportunity as she did not get a chance to broaden her learning and get a experience of studying abroad.
Suzuki hopes to learn English and exchange cultures with her host family and American friends. Prior to coming to Oregon, Suzuki said that she wanted to work abroad when she grew up so this is an experience to learn from. As her trip nears an end, Suzuki said that she has had a wonderful time in Oregon and will miss everyone when she returns. She hopes that one day, she could return to Oregon again to be with her new found friends