December 22, 2015

An International Christmas Party..

Seiritsu's International Department, ALT's and international students together put on a great Christmas party for the first year Junior High group on Friday December 11!


First, we did a presentation on what Christmas is, and how it is celebrated in different countries around the world: England, English and French speaking Canada, America, and Australia! The international students did a great job of helping too!


After the presentation we sang Christmas songs and played fun Christmas games that tested the kids' communication skills and Christmas knowledge. It was a great time and everyone had a lot of fun. I'm really looking forward to telling the junior high students about more cultural events!

Peter Williams
International Department Coordinator

December 19, 2015

Soccer Star comes back to Seiritsu - Hi again Michael!

Life as a professional footballer is busy and hard work, so it was a rare but very pleasant surprise when Seiritsu Old Boy and Albirex Niigata star Michael Fitzgerald paid us a quick visit.


It has been 10 years since Michael first came to Seiritsu as an international student following credit course programme; the full three year course which meant he graduated at a Japanese high school. He immediately found a place at Albirex after graduation, and has been a first team regular ever since 2013.

Life for Michael is about to get even busier as he is going to become a dad too. Massive congratulations!

As Michael grew up in New Zealand, recent returnees Michiru and Kouki also had a great opportunity to talk with Michael about their New Zealand experiences.


Good luck for everything in the future Michael, and hope to see you again soon. We're always cheering for you!

Peter Williams
International Department Coordinator

December 17, 2015

Melissa's Museum expedition post

Melissa here!

On Wednesday December 9th the International department went on a trip to the National Museum of Nature and Science in Ueno.


As I am studying Japanese History and Geography the trip related nicely to those two subjects with sections of the museum regarding the history of the Japanese people and sections on earthquakes.


The trip had a really nice atmosphere with 4 teachers and 6 students so there were lots of new friendships and memories formed!


My favourite part of the trip was the show we went to see. Inside the museum there was a giant globe which you could go inside. Inside there was a thin floating platform in the middle of the globe which the people watching the show would stand on. A video was then projected on the walls of the dome making you feel like you were really a part of the movie. The first part of the movie was about dinosaurs and was really realistic so you can imagine that it was pretty scary!


After that we also had a talk about earthquakes and watched a screen showing where earthquakes were occurring at that moment it Japan. A few of us stayed even longer at the museum in order to see the dome projection show again because it was so good!


Then we took purikura and I did some Christmas shopping! Even though it was in the middle of test week it was a really fun trip and I am definitely going to visit some more museums in Tokyo now (especially as most of them are free if you are a high school student!)

December 17, 2015

Laurence's christmas blog post

Laurence here!

One cannot think about December without thinking about the holidays. I have to admit I feel a bit ambivalent about Christmas this year because while I’m enjoying my Japan experience, this is also going to be the first Christmas I spend away from home. It’s also the first Christmas I’ll experience without any snow. While I still don’t know what I’m going to do on that day, I still want to celebrate this time in my own way, through imagery, music and conveying my feelings of love to my friends and family from far away. My family has also been sending me gifts, although my mom could not until Christmas for me to open them. The box I received also doubles as my first care package!


I am sending my family packages full of Japanese things for them to enjoy. I’ve also been hard at work writing Christmas cards. I don’t know if they’ll receive them in time but I can at least try!



They also sent me warm clothes to help me deal with the Japanese cold. Even though it is very cold in Canada, the walls of the houses are thicker and most people also have central heating instead of heaters and airconditioning, so the ways to handle the colder months are different.

Fortunately, some things are still like back home!


Indeed, celebrating Christmas has become more popular in Japan in recent years and Christmas sales, events, decorations and illuminations can be found throughout the city. It’s not snow, but it definitely makes me feel better. I especially like the Ebisu Christmas market. It’s small but very pretty and the lights at night are a beautiful sight (though hard to take a picture of with a phone camera).

This year has been very special for me. I graduated from college, got a new job and moved to another country. It has been difficult and stressful but also an exceptional learning opportunity and I have no doubts that I am a much better and experienced person now than I was a few months ago. I will still work hard to improve myself and become a better teacher!

See you next year!


December 10, 2015

Welcome Back, Michiru and Kouki!

At Seiritsu we always encourage our students to engage more with the international community. This is the whole purpose of the International Department! However, whereas most students will willingly interact with international students who visit the school, two students have just returned from an 11-month study abroad programme in New Zealand.


Kouki and Michiru left Japan last January to experience life at Nelson's College for Boys/Girls (two single sex colleges), which is in the town of Nelson on the northern tip of New Zealand's south island. They've had a lot of experiences and their English has improved incredibly! We are looking forward to hearing all about their adventures.

For anyone, studying abroad is the best way of learning the native language, as well as fun cultural discoveries and new friendships. We are also now accepting applications for our study abroad programmes for 2016! Interested? Click here to apply!

Peter Williams
International Department Coordinator

December 7, 2015

Tokyo JET's ALT seminar, November 26th

On Thursday November 26 a team teaching seminar was held for Tokyo's Japan Exchange Teacher (JET) assistant English teachers and their teacher colleagues. Recent Seiritsu additions Laurence and Teresa, as well as Peter and Kawaguchi Sensei took part in the all-day event.


The seminar covered overcoming team teaching challenges, using cultural knowledge to create exciting classes, as well as writing and speaking team teaching classes.

It was great to mix with other teachers and ALTs from different schools to see what challenges and solutions they had. Some have had similar experiences and some had very different ones, but everyone felt that the seminar was highly productive and finished the day with fresh ideas and motivation to create better classes.

We hope that there will be more opportunities to attend similar seminars in the future!

Peter Williams
International Department Coordinator

December 7, 2015

Teresa's Term-end web post!

Happy (early) holidays, everyone!

Can’t you feel the Christmas tingles in the air? I definitely can! That’s why my co-workers and I rushed to go to the Rikugien Gardens for the autumn leaves lighting last weekend. Yesterday was the last day before they turn off the lights until next year. No wonder it was so packed and crowded.


The leaves and trees were absolutely gorgeous. As I was walking through the mini-forest, I was shocked to realize that there were no wildlife (and insects, which I was very grateful for), except for families of ducks swimming in the center pond.


My favorite scene is probably the “mist” river. It was a fantastic combination of blue lights and mist that created an illusion of a river in the middle of the forest.

If you find yourself in Tokyo next year, check out this garden that is in the middle of metropolitan!


December 4, 2015

Toby's Presentation Experience!

Toby here!

On Saturday, 28th of November, class 1J took part in a presentation contest with the other classes of year 1. Our topic was 'The differences between American and Australian life and dialects'. We had been preparing for this presentation over many days and also many late afternoons.


We started our presentation with the differences between American and Australian life. For example: America and Australia drive on different sides of the road and have the steering wheel on the opposite sides of the vehicle.

We then proceeded to explain the differences between pronunciation and spelling of core words such as tomato and colour respectively. Another key point we added was the dialect and pronunciation of Australian English. For example: In a clear English accent, "I went today" makes perfect sense but in some areas of Australia the accent and pronunciation may be a little unusual and thick, so this phrase may sound like "I went to die". This example was a major part of the presentation and it collected a couple of laughs amongst the audience.

My role within the 1J group was to provide examples and fact check the given information. We choose the best examples and situations and explained them with great detail. We put in a huge effort and it paid off as 1J won the entire competition between 10 other classes.


It was a great experience as I got to to stand up with a couple of my class mates and say a couple of lines amongst the 400 students. one thing I found interesting while taking part in the presentation was the use of Katakana / loan-words in Japanese that come from American counterparts such as 'pinchi-hittaa'.

I am very lucky and fortunate to be in this class as they are very helpful, friendly and welcoming to me.

December 3, 2015

Laurence's November Web Post!

Laurence here!

November is normally a slow month right? It’s right between holidays, and well into the middle of the semester for schools too. But for someone who is currently living abroad as an experience, this downtime is a opportunity to try new things and explore the city. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, until my friend Isabelle, who is also from Canada and currently studying in Japan, said she was coming to Tokyo for the weekend. It was then that I started looking for all kinds of places we could visit and things we could do. We first went to Ikebukuro, where we did some shopping in Sunshine City and the Pokemon Center as well as the Disney Store.


We then moved on to the Ikefukurou Owl Café ('fukurou' is a Japanese for 'owl', so the cafe is a pun on Ikebukuro). Ikefukurou itself is pretty small, but it’s home to more than a dozen owls. Before entering, we had to read the rules and disinfect our shoes. Luckily for me, one of the staff spoke French, and we quickly started to speak about the owls and how things work at the café. Although the owls are tied up with a rope to their poles during the day (to keep them from getting into fights), the staff also takes care of them at night, to teach them how to fly and come when their name is called. I did still feel a bit bad about the owls unable to fly but overall it was a very special experience. Isabelle particularly bonded with one tiny owl named Annie, which stayed in her arms for more than 20 minutes!


Our next stop was the famous Sensouji shrine in Asakusa. I had already been there before, but it’s such a beautiful site that I was very glad to go again. It’s a very famous and beautiful site and also a spot to buy souvenirs and traditional sweets, so if you’re in the area, please check it out. Our final stop for the day was Akihabara, a district known for its attractions related to Japanese comic books and cartoons. Even though there isn’t much to do per say in Akihabara (or Akiba for short), the huge advertisements and screens on the buildings are truly a sight to behold.


The next day started in Shinkuku Gyoen, a very spacious park close to Shinjuku station. The park itself is separated in smaller areas, such as a greenhouse, flower gardens and chrysanthemum beds. Although it’s right next to a very busy shopping area, the park itself makes for a rare oasis of calm and quiet in the big city, which was welcome. We spent the afternoon in Harajuku, where our first stop was to have coffee with very sssssssspecial friends!


The Snake Center is a still relatively new establishment that is home to more than a dozen scaly companions. In the shop, people can enjoy tasty drinks with a snake in a cage on the table but for an extra 500 yen they can also hold a snake for 10 minutes, which is what we did! The snakes were very nice and soft to the touch.

We spent the rest of the afternoon shopping in Shibuya, where we explored the famous Shibuya 109 building, which is right across from what is nothing less than the most crossed intersection in the world. I wanted to take Isabelle to the Emperor’s palace before she left, but she still had to buy gifts at Tokyo Station before leaving, so we couldn’t go, but it was still a great weekend . If you’re in Tokyo, please try to visit some of the places I mentioned above! You’ll be sure to have a great time.

See you next month!

December 2, 2015

Mel's November Web Post!

Mel here!

So it has finally gotten cold now here in Tokyo meaning the leaves have changed colours!! My homestay family decided it would be a nice idea to go to an 'onsen' (温泉, hot spring) in Hakone to see all the different coloured trees and fully appreciate autumn.


To be honest Autumn in Japan has really surprised me as in England the trees shed their leaves around the end of September and it's a pretty quick process. In Japan however it was fairly warm until late October, and so Autumn in Tokyo is still happening right now!


At Hakone, there were so many different types of onsen with wine, sake (Japanese alcohol), coffee and orange flavoured baths! The normal onsen was also amazing due to the scenery! Hakone is deep in the mountains and so whilst taking a bath you can look out and see mountains surrounding you, it was seriously breathtaking!

But now as Autumn comes to an end, I know there is nothing to be sad about because Christmas is just around the corner!



about Seiritsu

Seiritsu Gakuen is a private co-educational high school created in 1925 and it is located in Tokyo, Japan.

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