Monday, August 13, 2012

At the Airport

And here they are at the airport! And who said Tokai students were shy?!!!

Boarding the Bus

Well, the boys should have arrived in Japan by now. Here they are getting on the bus for the airport.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The boys will leave today. It has been a wonderful time. We will say goodbye to host families and gather at 11:00 for the bus to the airport. It's always a sad parting but I think they will feel so happy to meet their families again. They have been ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

More Activity

Two of the groups have been doing their activities this week. Six boys are sailing and six boys are playing golf. It's always great to see them learning by doing something active. It's a good way to learn English too.

The Last Few Days

As we enter the last couple of days I am sure the boys are starting to feel emotional about leaving Ireland and returning to their families in Japan. It has been a very special time for them here but I am sure they are all looking forward to getting back home again.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Mr. Tsukiyama is now in Ireland. This picture shows the boys greeting him. He is very popular! We are grateful to him of coming all this way to support the boys. He will also be bringing them back to Japan soon. That's a big job!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Rice Balls!

After weeks of packed lunches the boys were very happy to get some rice balls prepared by Patrick's Japanese wife, Yuko. This is always very moving for them and shows you how close to the heart rice is for Tokai boys!!!

Good bye, Yokoi Sensei!

Mr. Yokoi left Ireland today after a week here supporting the boys. We thank him very much for his time and cheerful energy in making Tokai Malahide Week 2 such a success. Have a safe trip back to Japan and enjoy the rest of your summer vacation!

The 18 Musketeers!

Really proud of this year's group. They have come to Ireland and really been incredible! Can you see any change in the boys in 2 weeks? I can!
Fortunately, Japan went on to beat Spain in the Olympics!

Double Cheese!

Mr. Tayto

We spotted this guy at the Malahide Festival. That's one big potato!

A Useful Invention?

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Friday, August 3, 2012

Part of learning a foreign language is remaining positive while not understanding absolutely everything. That's life! When our students went to Belfast there was a very difficult explanation of the city and its history. The guide spoke very fast. Even though they couldn't understand all that much you can see them here listening hard, trying to pick up the gist.

Kakuda Kun. The one who came back!

This is our group leader. He came to Ireland last year too so he was made the leader of the group. Thanks to his positive and friendly attitude this year's program me has been the best ever in terms of our students mingling with the students of other nationalities. Thank you Kakuda Kun!!!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Cool Guys in the City Center


One of the activities takes place in the grounds of Malahide Castle. Great we've been having some good weather these past few days.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The boys went on a shopping trip to Dublin with their friends from Spain.

And were even signing autographs!

Fumihiro Matsuoka

I have made friends with a lot of foreigners. They are very friendly so I am very happy. I gave chopsticks, origami and instant noodles to my foreigner friends so they are very happy. My host family’s food is very delicious. Ireland is very comfortable. I like Ireland very much.

Taiga Ito

I played football with many foreign friends! And I made many foreign friends like Nuria, Maria, Lea, Alex, Francesco, Emma and so on!!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Boy's Comments

Here are some messages which the boys wrote themselves about their time in Ireland so far:

Naoto Kobayashi

I like Malahide! ICE is a nice school and people around me are very kind. In the class, I have a lot of exciting times. For example, the quiz, team games and so on. I want to stay here for a long time. I’ll enjoy my stay! I want to enjoy the class, my time with friends, and my host family.

Tatsuhiko Kakuda

I really enjoy life in Ireland. My friends are very kind and friendly so I can talk easily to them. I can understand the class. I play soccer in the park with my friends so I am very tired but it is fun. Horse riding is very interesting. I ride ‘Hi-Tower’, the tallest horse. I’m very scared but very excited because it is very high. Today is the last horse riding day but I want to do it more.

Ryuhei Takahashi

I came here 6 days ago. I went to a farm with my host family. At first, I don’t have any friends in my English class, but I have many friends now! Japanese students play soccer every day. Many different nationalities join us. My staymate went back to his country yesterday but a new French student came yesterday. I went to Dublin. I bought a keyring. The Disco was very interesting!

Afternoon Activities

Here are some of the afternoon activities the boys have been doing. As you can see they are very busy!

- Sailing at Malahide Yacht Club, which starts this week
- Horse Riding at Kilronan Equestrian Centre
- A visit to the National Gallery in Dublin
- A visit to the National History Museum in Dublin
- A day trip to Belfast in Northern Ireland
- A day trip to Kilkenny
- An afternoon excursion to Howth
- Visiting Newbridge Farm 
- A trip to Dublinia & Christ Church Cathedral
- A tour of the Guinness Storehouse
- A trip to the traditional Skerries Mills
- A tour of the GAA Sports Stadium in Dublin, home of traditional Irish Sports
- A day trip to Glendalough
- A tour of St. Michan's Church
- A tour of central Dublin, including Trinity College Dublin, the Library and The Book Of Kells
- There is also an option to do sports in the afternoons, which includes golf, tennis, soccer, volleyball and basketball

What an adventure!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Here is another nice picture of the boys with a horse, this one taken by Mr. Kitamura who left today. Hopefully he will have a nice and safe trip back to Japan. We would all like to thank him for the time he has given to the program  and hope that we hear some exciting news from him next week.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

This week Patrick's nephew Benedict, from England, has come to help out. He will be going to Oxford University in September to study Classics. He will be helping the boys everyday with their activities.

We interviewed him for the blog:

TI2012: So Benedict, what do you think of the program so far?

Benedict: Well firstly, from talking to the boys, everyone seems to be very happy with their homestays and the boys are feeling very comfortable. The English classes are particularly good as the students are only allowed to speak English in the classroom. This really encourages the boys to improve on their spoken English and interact with the other kids. Also the weather has been great recently which means the afternoon activities have been a great success. The boys are offered all kinds of things to do; from horse riding to shopping trips in Dublin.

TI2012: How are the boys getting on?

Benedict: It's great to see them meeting new people and making loads of new friends. They play a soccer match every evening against the boys from Spain and they got dancing at the disco on Thursday night.

TI2012: Have you ever been away on a trip like this?

Benedict: Yes, I went on a school trip to South Africa. I was very nervous at first but after a few days I made some really good friends who I am still in touch with today. It's really worth keeping those connections for later in life.

TI2012: What advice would you give to the boys?

Benedict: This is a chance in a lifetime! Make the most of it while you can.

After 4 busy days we say goodbye to Ito Sensei. We are extremely grateful to him for making this whole trip possible and for all his hard work and enthusiasm. He is very popular in Malahide and will be missed.
Great to see friendships forming like this.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

These boys come from Spain. This picture was taken in the Park one evening. Our students were enjoying takeaway pizza. Yum?
The boys are really starting to make friends  now. Great to see!
Every day the boys get packed lunches. Usually the sandwich and an apple and maybe some chocolate or crisps. After a few days they long for  rice balls!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Tomorrow we will be giving the boys a questionnaire to find out how things are going. We will be asking them about their home stay, their class and their activities and also who they have met so far. During the week all the boys will also be writing a post on the blog so watch this space!
Today the boys  went to the horse riding arena for the 1st time. They learnt how to put the saddle on a horse. It looked very interesting and their teacher said that they were the best group she had ever taught. They learned so quickly. Here is a picture of Kakuda kun  with a horse called High Tower. They both look very happy, don't they?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Thanks, Mr. Kitamura!

We are again very lucky to have Mr Kitamura accompanying group. This is not his 1st time visiting Ireland. In fact he came here to study English many years ago.   It is the dedication of teachers giving up their summer vacation that allows these study abroad programs to take place.  What's more, in just 2 weeks Mr  K will be a father for the 1st time.  Thank you!
 I don't think this student is really 7 years old, do you?
After the test was finished Patrick talked to the group for a few minutes. There are a few very important rules that students must obey. One of the most important is that they keep to the curfew and get home by 10 PM every night. We took a group photograph.Who is that strange man in the background?

Test Day

Yesterday was Sunday and the boys were asked to go into school at  4 o'clock to take a short placement test. They must've been tired after their long trip but they all did their best. The boys usually do very well in Britain tests like this and indeed this year was the same. After their papers are checked the students are divided into different levels. Hopefully they did not feel too much pressure!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

About this Blog

The idea behind this blog is that people at home can follow our students as they enjoy life in Ireland. We would be very happy to get comments and messages of encouragement from anywhere, especially from parents and past students.  Please don't be shy!
All the boys greeted their host families very enthusiastically. In Ireland people like that so I am sure they have all made a good first impression!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Welcome to Ireland!

I have just come back from the airport where I was very pleased to meet all of the boys as well as Mr Kitamura. They all seemed to be very well and happy after the long journey. They were taken by bus to Malahide where they met their host families at the arranged meeting point. All the boys smiled and shook hands with their hosts. I was very happy to see them do that because it is really important to make a good 1st impression. I was talking to the leader of the group, Tatsuhiko Kakuda, who was in IrelAND last year. I asked him to give us some advice about how to make the most of the trip. He said something that made a real impression on me. His 1st piece of advice was to not be shy. His 2nd piece of advice was to be unafraid of making mistakes. I think he's got it in a nutshell. I get the feeling that this year's group are particularly friendly and I think promises to be a wonderful learning journey for them.
Great news! It's a sunny day in Dublin. In just a few hours the boys will be arriving at Dublin airport. I have just received a message from Mr Kitamura informing me that the boys are now waiting in Dubai.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Hi, Everybody! Welcome to the Tokai Ireland 2012 blog. Here is some advice from the boys who came last year.