Sunday, August 14, 2011

Our Last Group Photo


The boys have now left Ireland. They will be missed. It has been a wonderful three weeks. It would not have been possible without the commitment of the parents, the dedication of the teachers in both Japan and Ireland but most importantly the positive attitude of the boys themselves. Hopefully they will continue their Learning Journeys and grow up to be truly international people who understand that through communication, cooperation, friendship and understanding across borders the world can become a better place. Many thanks to everybody who has been part of this year's Tokai Ireland 2011 team. Good Job!

In the Air!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

ICE Teachers

Yesterday was the last day of English lessons. The boys said good bye to their teachers and were given their reports. They have done their best and enjoyed the experience of studying with students from around the world. Thanks, Ossan, Declan, Kevin, Simon, Owen and Alison for making it fun for us. Today is their last day in Ireland. Time has flown by.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Ireland is famous for golf. This week three Tokai boys took a golf course and really enjoyed themselves. They were able to get tuition and play on a course and at a driving range and training center. Their teacher was very impressed with them. Well done, guys!


Today was the last day of the sailing course and after their training they were able to sail around the estuary. There were a group of French students with them this week. Tomorrow they go back to their last two days of excursions. The course ended with a barbecue. Hopefully the boys enjoyed it overall and learned something new. Unfortunately sailing will always be controlled by the weather but that's life here in Ireland.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Boys in Boats

Here is a message from Yoshihito kun. He is one of the group doing sailing as their activity. Yesterday was a very cold wet day but today the weather is better and fun was had by all.

In Ireland it is cool. Host family and ICE teachers are very kind to us. All the Japanese students communicate with the other foreigners in English although we sometimes speak to each other in Japanese too. We are enjoying life in Ireland.

Thanks, Yoshihito

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Belfast and Kilkenny

Two excursions happened today. One was to Belfast in the North of Ireland and the other was to Kilkenny a historic city with a castle and cathedral. Here are some boys in Kilkenny.

Colin Sensei and Tsukiyama Sensei

Today we welcomed Tsukiyama Sensei back to Ireland. Welcome!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Of course they can't drink beer but yesterday the group went to the Guinness Brewery and Visitor Centre which is one of Dublin's most important places. Colin Sensei took this great picture of nearly all of them together. There was a lot of activity in the souvenir shop too! Big question. Who didn't make it into the picture? I can only count 17 boys. Don't worry, though. We haven't lost one...

Tokai Boys in Scotland

While the Tokai Ireland boys are having fun in Dublin, the Tokai Scotland boys are on the other side of the Irish Sea. Actually, they are heading back to Japan soon. They have been enjoying the residential 2 week program at Fettes College. Here is a link to their blog.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Thanks Tatsuhiko

This is a message from Tatsuhiko. He is one of the strongest English speakers in the group. Actually he's in the advanced class with Simon which is quite an achievement. He has one problem in that his name is difficult for people to remember so he has to repeat it for them! He writes:

It's very cold here. My host family is very kind to me so I am enjoying my stay and my friends are very kind and funny but I am very sad because they will leave here soon. I learned some Spanish words from them. 'Hello' in Spanish is 'Hola!'I'm very happy. I'm spending a really good time in Ireland.

It's amazing how sad the boys feel when someone they've only known for a few days leaves. It shows you how intense the experience of studying abroad is for them.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Trip to the West Coast

The boys went on a day trip yesterday. Some of them went to Galway on the Atlantic Coast. Some of them went to Dublin Zoo. Looks like they all had a great time. Other news. Colin Sensei arrived safely last night after a long journey. He will be looking after the group this week. Colin is from New Zealand and has been responsible for starting the Tokai New Zealand program which takes place in the spring vacation. Thanks for supporting our program, Colin!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Where's Hirotsugu?

Can you find Hirotsugu in this picture? He wrote this for the blog.

In Ireland it's a little cool. My host family is very kind to me. My activity is horse riding. I rode a horse called High Tower yesterday. He is the tallest horse in the riding school. I enjoyed riding very much and I made a lot of friends (Italians, Germans, Saudi Arabians and others).

I am having a great time in Ireland.

Thanks Hirotsugu. You are the High Tower of the Tokai boys!

Origami Power

Thanks to Kiichi for writing this for our blog. It sounds like he’s having a good time in Ireland.

We talk with Spanish, Italian and Irish people but it’s very tiring. We meet many students in the park. I try to be friendly to them. I want to be funny. Origami is a great way to make friends. Spanish people love it when we make them things out of origami. It’s stronger than a tank!

My teacher’s name is Osan. He looks about 40. If he goes to Japan he’ll be called “Ossan”.

I’m afraid I can’t make jokes in English. I think if I could I would become friends with many students.

Well done, Kiichi!

Yusuke Kun has written this for our blog. Actually Yusuke travelled to England and Vienna with the Tokai Orchestra in 2009 so he has experience abroad:

I'm in Malahide now. It's a little cold but very exciting. I went bowling, danced at the disco and went to many museums. I have made many friends here. I don't want to go back to Japan. I want to stay here more! I danced in the disco for a long time. It was very fun and comfortable. I danced with girls for the first time. I am enjoying my stay here in Ireland.

Thanks, Yusuke. You are doing a great job building bridges between Japan and the wider world.

Friday, July 29, 2011

A Visit to Howth

The boys visited Howth today. It's a pretty town by the seaside. They are really mixing well with the other students now and making the most of this opportunity to practice their English. Great to see.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Sporting Life

One afternoon a week is sports day. Sport is a great way to communicate and break down barriers. Yesterday the boys who aren't doing horse-riding had fun with friends of other nationalities. What's more, they were lucky with the weather. Last night they had a disco so friendships are blossoming here in Ireland.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tokai Cowboys

Well, today was the first day of the horse-riding afternoon activity. Actually this is the first time we have done this sort of thing at Malahide and it's an exciting new addition to the program. Hopefully the course will be a success and the boys will have an unforgettable experience. There are students of several nationalities including Austrian, Spanish, Saudi Arabian and Italian and of course all the instruction is in English so this will be a great chance to use real English to do something fun and challenging. Of course the horses don't speak much Japanese so that might be a problem!

I look forward to seeing how the boys progress.

Mr. Kitamura's Video

Our Leader

This is our group student leader, Eisuke kun. He is responsible for communicating between the group and us It's good to see his smile. He has an important job so please wish him luck!

Irish Sports

This year I have asked the students to help write the blog. Thanks to Yuki-kun for being the first. Here is his post and a picture of Croke Park:

Yesterday we went to the GAA museum. It is in a stadium. It is very big. It was very fun. There were some games where you have to push buttons quickly. The Japanese students were very cunning and we got the highest score.

Now I will tell you a funny difference between my home in Ireland and my home in Japan. This is about the temperature of the shower. In my homestay the shower starts off very cool. That's normal. After that it gradually gets warmer. That's normal too. It's nice and comfortable. But suddenly the temperature gets very very hot or very very cold. I was very surprised!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Off to School

Today was the first day of lessons. I spoke to the boys afterwards and most of them found it pretty hard. But of course! This is their first experience of studying in a classroom full of European students. Maybe they are used to listening to the teacher but here they are expected to speak a lot. It's a big change but I know they'll get used to it soon.

Ame Otoko???

This morning Ireland returned to its usual showery weather. Fortunately one of our boys was prepared but that little umbrella isn't going to keep everyone dry! In Ireland we always forget our umbrellas.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A TEST!!! Already???

The boys spent the day with their host families today and they all seem happy with their new homes. Some of them are in their own rooms and some are staying in a twin room with a student of another nationality. This evening they had a test to decide which level class they will be in tomorrow. Of course it's important that they are in the correct class. After the test we read the rules together and thought about how to make the most of this adventure.

Our Group!

These boys look very well considering they have just come off a long, long journey across the world.


What's the best advice for our boys? Well, I think it's quite simple, really. Smile!

It was great to see Mr. Kitamura's big smile! He is the leader for the first week and speaks great English as well as having spent time in Ireland before and is a big fan of Irish culture Bands like Altan, the Cranberries, and Enya and the literature of Joyce, Beckett, and Yeats.

Thanks to teachers like this who give up their vacation time, it is possible for generations of Tokai students to take part in these programs. Thanks Mr. K!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Safe Arrival

The boys have arrived! Their plane was due at 14:55 but it arrived early at 14:05. They all looked excited and well. Not as tired as I expected. We went by bus to meet the homestay parents. It was nice to see the warmth of the welcome they received. I was very happy to see them smile and say 'Nice to meet you'. First impressions are very important. Here is Kiichi with Lydia of the Irish College of English. The weather is absolutely beautiful today. About 20 degrees and sunny so everybody is feeling good. We don't get weather like this in Ireland very often. They have a day to relax tomorrow until we meet in the evening for a test to see shich level class they will be put into. Parents, please leave a comment for the students. I'm sure they would be happy to read it.

Friday, July 22, 2011

In Transit

Good morning everybody. It's 05:30 a.m here in Dublin and it looks like it's going to be a beautiful day. I have just received a message from Kitamura Sensei saying the group are now in transit through Abu Dhabi International Airport. The first leg of the trip was fine and nobody has lost their passport! They will soon be boarding their flight to Dublin. I look forward to seeing them soon. I will post a message here whe they arrive. Best, Patrick.