April 26, 2008
Hide and Yuna Take On Berlin
At the end of March, two students from Seiritsu, Hide Tanabe and Yuna Kurazono, went for a two week home stay in Berlin. We had a chance to chat with them to find out what they thought about their trip.
What was your image of Berlin before you left?
H- I knew about a lot of shops in Berlin, so I was hoping to see that.
Y- I imagined it to be clean and have lots of very attractive buildings.
Where did you go for sightseeing?
H- All over! We saw the Berlin Wall and traveled to Hamburg and Potsdam.
Y- We also went to a Greece Museum (ed- The Pergamon Museum). That was really nice.
Did any sight stand out as your favorite?
H- My favorite thing I did was I got to watch the Hertha BSC team’s practice. That was really great.
Y- I really liked that Greece Museum. I loved the old items from Greek culture, especially all the jewelry.
What did you find was different between Tokyo and Berlin?
H- I thought there was a lot more greenery. There were lots of parks and trees and that’s very different from Tokyo.
Y- And the traffic lights changed very quickly! We had to run across the intersections!
How was your home-stay experience?
H- It was difficult at times. My home stay mother worked very hard and she wasn’t around often, so sometimes things like meals were a bit hard to sort out.
Y- I was really happy! My home stay family had two daughters who were 16 and 19 years old, so we really got along.
H- And one of Yuna’s home stay sisters drew this amazing portrait of me. It was so kind of her.
When you left Berlin, was the image you got different from the one you had before you went? Was there anything you didn’t expect?
H- I was surprised to see how much graffiti there was in Berlin. But I heard it’s a symbol of free speech for them, so I can understand that.
Y- I thought the people there had a relaxed, easy way of life.
What did you two bring back as souvenirs?
H- I bought lots of salami. It turned out I couldn’t bring it back but luckily, I had lots of other things like postcards to give people.
Y- Me too. I brought back lots of little things for everyone like candies, postcards, and these cute towels with the traffic-light-man (ed- pedestrian crossing signals use very cartoon-like symbols there). Also, both of us bought a really nice, custom made, navy blue soccer jersey.
What are you plans for after you graduate from Seiritsu?
H- I’d really like to go to university and improve my English and learn German.
Y- The same for me. I’d really like to learn those languages as well, and go on exchange.
H- Yes, traveling abroad is definitely in my plans as well.
Where would you like to travel next or for your exchange?
H- I’d really like to go to Washington, D.C. I spent some time in Maryland when I was younger and I’d like to see more of America.
Y- I’m interested in going to Canada. I haven’t decided where in Canada yet, but I think it would be a great country to visit.
Well that’s great!
It’s great to see that they had a great experience and had an open mind about other cultures around the world. Even better was that they’re more interested now to see other parts of the world as well. So thanks to Hide and Yuna and good luck to you two!