J.P. Stevens High School student experiences Japan

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Isabel Swatowski, a J.P. Stevens High School student, participated in the 2017 Japanese Exchange, which is a scholarship opportunity funded by Kikkoman Corporation and administered by Youth for Understanding USA. This scholarship is valued at more than $11,000 per student. PHOTOS COURTESY OF PATRICIA DIGIOIA-LAIRD
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Isabel Swatowski, a J.P. Stevens High School student, participated in the 2017 Japanese Exchange, which is a scholarship opportunity funded by Kikkoman Corporation and administered by Youth for Understanding USA. This scholarship is valued at more than $11,000 per student. PHOTOS COURTESY OF PATRICIA DIGIOIA-LAIRD
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EDISON — A John P. Stevens High School student was one of 14 Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) members from across the United States who had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be immersed in Japanese culture.

Isabel Swatowski participated in the 2017 Japanese Exchange, which is a scholarship opportunity funded by Kikkoman Corporation and administered by Youth for Understanding USA. This scholarship is valued at more than $11,000 per student.

Isabel said living in Japan for 6 weeks was an opportunity of a lifetime.

“Staying in this country with a host family allows me not only to experience the culture of Japan, but to integrate and become a part of it,” she said. “I am truly blessed to live in a neighborhood in Tokyo, where there are so many attractions and intriguing landmarks just a few train stops away.”

Besides being able to experience the culture of Japan, students participating in the Japanese Exchange Program are given the opportunity to attend school in Japan which is an experience all its own from the clothing students wore and the genkan — area where you change your outdoor shoes into your indoor shoes, to the way the classes are arranged.