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Savannah Workmen

Senior, Kanako Daicho, poses for a photo.

Laquaeja Williams , Reporter

She has been living in America for four months. Speaking two languages, Senior Kanako Daicho has the opportunity to explore and live in the United States. She studies American culture, adding the knowledge she gained from past visits to Hawaii.

Daicho decided to become a foreign exchange student in order to feel more independent. In Japan she always had to rely on her family, but by living abroad she is independent and connects with other people.

Junior Alyssa Blumanhourst is the “sister” she lives with while she’s in America, and she also has three other siblings that come and visit Kanako and Alyssa once a month.

“I bond with Alyssa more because we are the same age and we have three classes together: Concert Choir, US History and Algebra 2. She helps me a lot when I’m struggling,” Daicho said.

From the classes to the culture, Daicho has noticed many differences in America and and Japan.

“In Japan there are a lot of mountains. Also, it’s different from America, because Japanese walk a lot since everything is very close. In America they need cars to get to a lot of places.”

At school in Japan, the teachers had their own room. Students stayed in one class while the teachers rotated.

Daicho said she finds American students to be more outgoing than their Japanese counterparts.

“Americans are more friendly and talkative to strangers and us Japanese are humble, quiet and modest,” Daicho said.

In Japan her favorite activity is being in an art club . The members of her art club visit places such as the art museum, where they draw and paint.

“We prepare for our school festival once a year. People come and examine the art and we invite guests to let them experience our art,” Daicho said.

At her home school’s festival, kids get together and celebrate their culture. In America she loved that she was involved with “Hairspray”, she was even backstage painting the set. Daicho says her experiences in the United States have had a definite impact on her character.

“I have changed from living in America by becoming stronger and independent. I have to pay attention to my host family so I don’t trouble them,” Daicho said.

In the future she sees herself coming back to America to visit her friends and her host family. She will return to Japan on June 28.