"All students need to understand other languages and cultures," said State Superintendent Elizabeth Burmaster. "This ongoing exchange program between Wisconsin and Japan offers our children a valuable international education experience within their local schools and communities."
This year's delegation of teachers arrived in Wisconsin on Sept. 18 and will stay until Dec. 7.
Following program orientation in Madison, guest teachers will spend four weeks in each of two host school districts.
They will live with host families, participate in community events, and engage in teaching and learning activities within local schools.
In addition, the teachers will observe Wisconsin's educational practices, experience local customs, and improve their language and intercultural skills.
The exchange program is intended to give visiting teachers from Japan, their host families, and the host school administrators, staff, and students an opportunity to make personal connections with someone from another country.
This shared experience goes beyond encountering new facts, customs, and beliefs.
It builds relationships, broadens perspectives, and fosters global citizenship.
"I want to commend the host school districts for bringing this valuable international education experience to their communities," Burmaster said. "Giving students personal access to other languages and cultures is critical in today's interconnected and interdependent world."
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction collaborates with the Wisconsin Education Association Council's Professional Development Academy to host the Japan - Wisconsin Education Connection, now in its 12th year.
Wisconsin schools have hosted 158 teachers through this program since 1997.