Seven Japanese students and two teachers from the Seijo Gakuen Senior High School in Tokyo soaked up as much American and McDonogh culture as possible during the biennial exchange that took place at McDonogh from March 23 to April 4. The visit, coordinated by Upper School history teacher Marilyn Boyle, is part of an exchange program between the two schools that began in 1988.
The students began their American journey with an overnight stay in New York City. While there, they climbed to the top of 30 Rockefeller Plaza to get a sweeping, unobstructed view of Central Park and Manhattan's midtown and downtown skyscrapers.
Once in Maryland, the group truly dove into all things McDonogh. They worked on Roots Farm, visited lower schoolers, learned music tech with Don New, made gummy bears in Carrie Crooks science class, and explored the Fader Innovation Center. The group also had a chance to visit D.C. to see the cherry blossoms and take in the city's rich history.
The traditional farewell dinner with host families ended with lots of hugs and tears. It was clear that the Japanese guests enjoyed their time at McDonogh. Undoubtedly, the friendships forged and the experiences shared during the exchange will last a lifetime.