(Asahi Student Newspaper: May 17, 2015 – p. 2)
Summer school programs are spreading across Japan as a way to allow local high school students to interact with overseas youth in English. The initiative is being led by college students who want to offer a range of options to high school students in their future studies.
“Local high school students have little access to information that could be useful to their future studies and careers compared to their peers in cities,” said Shotaro Koyama, a graduate school student at the University of Tokyo. “I began feeling this more strongly when I started my college life in Tokyo.”
Koyama hails from Komatsu, Ishikawa Prefecture. This summer, he will chair the organizing committee for “Komatsu Summer School,” a student exchange program to be held in his hometown this summer. He said: “College students get involved in many activities, such as volunteer programs and studying abroad. I have to keep my juniors up to date.”
Komatsu Summer School will be held this year for the second summer in a row. It is a five-day event during which 60 high school students from Ishikawa and other locations will spend time with Princeton University students visiting the prefecture as part of the school’s Japanese language program “Princeton in Ishikawa.”
Komatsu Summer School is modeled after HLAB, a program that Ryosuke Kobayashi launched in 2011 when he was at Harvard University to introduce Japanese high school students to Harvard students. (Abridged)