The Ritsumeikan Global Summit 2019
Five students from Year 9 accompanied by Ms Noble and Mr Douglas made the long journey from CSIA to Kyoto, Japan to take part in the 2019 Ritsumeikan Global Summit.
The summit is a cultural exchange programme where students from all over the world come together to share ideas and learn from different experiences. This year the summit had a strong focus on equality and the environment.
Part of the experience involved the students staying with a host family where they were immersed in an authentic experience of day-to-day life in a Japanese household. This homestay experience is really important and the small differences in day-to-day life are often the things that students find most interesting. Each morning the students arrived at school excited to share stories about new foods, customs and even hi-tech heated toilet seats
The summit included visits to some of the most spectacular sights and attractions in Kyoto including The Golden Pavilion, Arashiyama bamboo forest and Inari Shrine ñ a mountain walkway made up of around 3000 bright orange shrines. Having a local student to guide them around meant CSIA students were able to take part in some activities usually reserved for locals, including the famous Tea Ceremony.
As with any cultural exchange programme, food is always a hot topic of discussion. Home cooked meals and visits to local restaurants mean the students have no choice but to get fully immersed in delicious Japanese cuisine.
“One of my favourite experiences was my host family taking me to a conveyor belt sushi restaurant. Although you get this style of restaurant in the UK, the endless range of sushi available was mind-blowing. We ate everything from raw blue fin tuna to squid tentacles and cod roe!” James B.
The summit culminated with cultural exchange displays and cultural performances from each visiting country. With schools from Thailand, Kenya, Hawaii, Australia and Malaysia to name a few, the opportunities for cultural immersion were boundless.
“I really enjoyed the cultural booths because we got to try lots of traditional crafts, games and foods which were totally new to us. Along with learning about other cultures we were able to showcase Britain and have some fun wearing the Beefeater costume. One particular highlight was making a traditional Hawaiian wrist band made from a banana leaf.” Emily K
Daisy, Georgiana, Emily, Max and James are now looking forward to welcoming Japanese students from Ritsumeikan High School into a British household when they visit in April. This will be a fantastic opportunity to return the hospitality they received and showcase what a beautiful part of the world we live in.