Will Rogers Junior High teacher Kelly Caffey and daughter Kyla, 15, will host a Japanese foreign exchange student April 1-7. The exchange program is through Tulsa Global Alliance (TGA), a non-profit organization in Tulsa, dedicated to increasing global awareness, understanding and opportunities. Tulsa Community College also assists with the program by organizing and planning activies during the students’ stay.
As sister cities, Tulsa and Utsunomiya, Japan participate in an annual student exchange. Saori Satake, 15, a Utsunomiya high school student, will be staying with Caffey and her family. During her visit, Satake will attend Claremore High School for a day to get a glimpse of what school is like in the U.S., said Caffey.
The remainder of Satake’s stay will consist of activities and tours planned by TGA.
“TGA offers the exchange students a city tour of Tulsa and different area colleges as well as hosts a big farewell dinner, usually with the mayor,” she said.
The Utsunomiya students will arrive in Oklahoma this Friday, after spending a few days at Walt Disney world in Florida.
Caffey said her daughter traveled to Utsunomiya as an exchange student several years ago.
“Kyla attended school in Japan for several days while living in a temple. She visited Tokyo via the Bullet Train, attended an official tea ceremony and studied the Japanese culture.”
Satake and the other incoming exchange students were originally scheduled to visit two years ago but the trip was cancelled due to the tsunami. This will be the fifth exchange student the Caffey family has hosted from various countries such as the U.K., Australia and Japan.
“Kyla has been emailing Saori back and forth and is looking forward to her arrival,” said Caffey. “We enjoy having the students and it’s an affordable way for them to experience the U.S. because we provide food and pay for any activities.”