Minato Sohgoh High School is a comprehensive school. The school offers special classes for career education. These classes are not often offered in other Japanese high schools. They prepare the students for the future; from a high school or university student to a social worker. Class activities include interviewing business people, doing public services, and researching (at libraries and on the internet), to learn about jobs and universities. These classes involve mostly individual work.
This year, the president of a business corporation gave a 15 minute lecture explaining how it is like to be an office worker while raising children as a mother. In her lecture, she expressed her feelings towards working, and the important features of working and communicating. This school takes pride in international diversity. Several foreigners visit this school during the school year. Students from the United States, Australia, China, Thailand, India, Afghanistan, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Norway, France, and Ireland have come to this school as exchange students. The school has signed a sister school contract with Britannia Secondary School, to exchange 20 students every year.
The school motto of Yokohama Municipal Minato Sohgoh High School is to develop self-confidence, the ability of using suitable knowledge, and the skills for developing human relationships
Interviewing exchange students; Ling Ming Mei Dora from Australia, Maria Bue Kessel from Norway, and Wang Wenjia from China. They have been in Japan for 2 to 4 weeks, participating in the broadcasting club, and the Japanese calligraphy club. Maria wanted to become a part of the Japanese culture, and live like a Japanese school girl. Wang Wenjia enjoyed Japanese cartoons, so she wanted to learn the Japanese language. The three students can speak three or more languages; Ling Ming Mei can speak English, Cantonese, and Japanese, Maria can speak Norwegian, English, and French, and Wang Wenjia can speak Chinese, English, and Japanese. They are all eager to be a fluent Japanese speaker for their career and university life. Ling Ming Mei’s future dream is to become a lawyer. Wang Wenjia’s dream is to become a doctor. Maria has not yet decided, but she plans to live in Japan and study music history. She thinks the exchange program gives her an opportunity to learn other cultures, which allows her to see things from different perspectives and understand people better.
What are your feelings toward the school?
Ling Ming Mei: My first impression on Japanese schools was that they are strict, but this school was full of freedom, and the teachers and students are very nice and kind.
Maria: Everyone in this school greets each other good morning and good-bye, and so the environment is very welcoming.
What do you find the most interesting about your school life?
Maria: In Japan, the students go to university straight after high school, which is different to Norway. I am surprised that students have their own designated desks and that the location of the classes change for each subject. I enjoy talking with my Japanese classmates.
Yokohama Municipal Minato Sohgoh Highschool
links to their websites
(Reported by Madoka Nishina)
Madoka Nishina 10th Saint Maur International School
Karen Nishina 4th Saint Maur International School