Burnett visit is best part of Aussie trip for Japanese group
A GROUP of students has travelled more than 7000km to see the sights of Kingaroy, and their teacher says their time in the town is the best part of their Aussie trip.
More than 120 Year 10 and 11 Fudooka High School students nominated to visit Australia and 30 were selected to visit Kingaroy State High School.
Fudooka English teacher Kumiko Endo said students could choose from other destinations such as Germany, the US and Singapore.
Ms Endo said students had enjoyed seeing the Australian nature, open spaces and starry skies during the past week.
"We went to the Bunya Mountains and saw lots of trees, blue skies and animals,” she said.
"On the way we saw a really large field - a big, open place. That might be nothing to you, but for us that's amazing.”
The exchange program has been running for more than 20 years, giving Kingaroy students the chance to visit the sister school in Japan on alternate years.
Kingaroy teacher Steven Corstiaans said it was an educational and cultural exchange for the students from both schools.
"It mirrors Kingaroy's trip to Japan,” he said.
"They have an interest in furthering their skills, interests and enjoying another culture.”
Kingaroy State High School deputy principal Lloyd Fairbairn said the Kingaroy students who went on the trip experienced real-life Japan, rather than just a tourist experience.
"It's what both communities gain from it,” he said.
Ms Endo said the schools enjoyed reciprocating hospitality.
"The people here are so friendly and warm-hearted - Kingaroy is the best place to go,” she said.
The Japanese students stayed with host families from Kingaroy High, consisting of students who had participated in the exchange program themselves.
The Fudooka High students participated in English, physical education and pavlova-making lessons while also enjoying visits to Australia Zoo, the beach, and the South Burnett Regional Council chambers.
Students are also looking forward to visiting the Kingaroy Observatory with their host families this weekend.
"We can't usually see the Milky Way, there's too much smog and light,” Ms Endo said.
"We can go to the Planetarium, but the stars are artificial.”
The group also visited Kingaroy primary schools, and got to witness a whipcracking demonstration at St John's Lutheran School.
STREET POLL: Fudooka High Students share their favourite thing about their trip to Australia and Kingaroy