MVHS welcomes Iwata students with open arms


Laura DeMassa

Students from Iwata, Japan visited Mountain View High School on Thursday, Mar. 19 as part of the Iwata Exchange Program. Over the next few days, the exchange students will get a chance to explore the Bay Area while staying with some of our fellow students from MVHS. Last year, our students traveled to Iwata to stay with the same exchange students and bond with their host families. During their trip, they learned about Japanese culture and were exposed to an amiable and welcoming community.

“We are honored that you have chosen to endure a journey of 8,500 kilometers to be our guests, and we are resolved to make your trip worthwhile. We have much still to learn from each other. But more important to you than any cultural appreciation, or intellectual insight, will be the attitude toward making friends this trip cultivate,” School Board Vice President Phil Faillace said.

The MVHS community, accompanied by our wind ensemble, gave a warm welcoming ceremony to the Iwata students. They were greeted with a dance performed by some of our students and speeches from administrators and the mayor of Mountain View.

“I know you are going to enjoy yourself here, it is a beautiful town,” Mayor John McAlister said.

Principal David Grissom added, “Cultural exchanges are not normal pieces of our culture anymore, in our schools, in most of our schools, and the fact that Mountain View High School opens our door to students and adults of Iwata truly makes Mountain View High School a little bit different, in a wonderful, wonderful way.”

The exchange students then went up to introduce themselves to the audience, and their Alumni Leader, Mr. Hideaki Ito, spoke of his excitement.

“I really appreciate the warm welcome from the principal of Mountain View High School, but also from the teachers, parents, and students involved in this exchange. The 12th delegation of the Iwata Minami High School consists of twenty-five students and five chaperones including three teachers. We hope we will have enjoyable and fruitful days through this exchange while we stay in Mountain View.”

See below for pictures of the event!

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