With the aim of developing cultural exchange and friendship via the Internet, the second-year students in the International Tourism Program at the Urasoe Commercial High School participate in an online class once a week with students learning Japanese in the United States. The Okinawan students exchange e-mail written in Japanese and English with students studying Japanese at Garden City High School in Garden City, Michigan. The students say, “It’s a lot of fun because we can learn about culture and talk about silly things.”
Since 2011, Kizuna Across Cultures, an NPO, has offered the online language and cultural exchange program Global Classmates for high school students studying Japanese in the U.S. and English in Japan. Some 31 schools nationwide are participating in the program. Urasoe Commercial High School is the first school in Okinawa to be selected.