The students that you will be hosting are graduates from MeySen Academy Kindergarten and currently enrolled in the Friends Club after-school program. This trip is the culmination of their nine years’ worth of studies at MeySen. In Japan, the school year begins each April which means that these students are in the seventh grade and are twelve years old (some are thirteen). They are average children from average homes, and are not a specially selected group. Although this trip is an optional part of Friends Club, most of the students’ parents value this experience and have saved for many years to cover the expenses involved.
The Academy has been conducting the tour every summer since 1976. Our students begin the US trip with one week on the Olympic peninsula at either Miracle Ranch or Island Lake Camp. Following camp, they spend three days in homes, such as yours, which have been provided by Christian churches on the Olympic Peninsula and in the Seattle/Tacoma area. They are grouped into pairs (and occasionally a trio) to lessen the culture shock. For many of our students this is the most exciting part of their tour as they can make American friends and live in an American home. From Seattle, we continue on to California and Hawaii for a ten-day sight-seeing tour that includes stops at the Golden Gate Bridge, Yosemite Park, Sea World, Disneyland, and Waikiki.