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Japanese Exchange Student Excited About U.S.

By Miya Murata, Clarion Staff

One of our Japanese foreign exchange students, Machiko Amulfukutake, was very excited when her parents told her that her family was moving to the United States. She was born in Japan and wanted to come to America since she was in elementary school because of the nice atmosphere. Machiko’s first impressions of John F. Kennedy high school was that it was big compared to Japan because Japanese schools are typically small.

Machiko stands in the Japanese classroom. (Photo by Miya Murata)

Machiko has a younger brother and an older sister. She says that her sister is the person she looks up to because she is “kind, friendly, supportive, and smart”. As well as getting family support, her new friend, Isabelle Fontanilla has made has helped her to adjust to the new environment during her first week of school. Machiko’s old school in Japan is called Okayama Ryukoku.  Although Japanese schools do not have school dances, she did not attend homecoming on October 28.

Machiko’s favorite school subject is art because she did not have an art class in Japan. “On the first day of school, I was nervous because I did not know English very well” said Machiko, a junior. But to help her still enjoy school even with the nervousness, she would eat food. Her favorite American food is a hamburger because its different compared from what they have in Japan.

“I have not decided exactly what I want to be when I grow up but I want it to include helping children who are not able to go to school.” Machiko says she is very excited to live in the United States and cannot wait to see what the future will hold for her.

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