Sister-city exchange students cancel/postpone trips

Due to the spread of swine flu, the Shiga Prefectural Board of Education has decided to cancel all high school student exchange trips to sister cities in Michigan, USA. Some 20 students from Michigan were scheduled to visit Shiga next month for home-stay visits, and 20 students from Shiga were to visit Michigan in Sept. 2009.

Earlier, eight junior high school students from Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA postponed their trip to Omi-Hachiman scheduled for May 8-16, 2009. Due to fears of swine flu, the Grand Rapids people decided to postpone the homestay trip. As part of their sister-city relationship, Grand Rapids and Omi-Hachiman have been sending students to each other for homestay visits.

It is very unfortunate these trips had to be canceled. I’m sure the students are all very disappointed. Taking overseas trips during the formative years of high school brings much mutual unerstanding and experiences, besides lasting memories. Hope they will somehow eventually make the trip somehow, someday soon.