Japanese exchange student Yu Kobayashi has been a temporary resident of Slave Lake since September.
Kobayashi is 17-years-old and is from Tokyo Japan. She is currently in Grade 10 and attending Roland Michener Secondary School (RMSS).
Back in Japan Kobayashi is in Grade 12 but decided to go back a few grades when she moved to Canada because the English language makes her learning more difficult.
“I decided to come to Canada because I heard Canada was a kind country with lots of space to run. Back home I am part of track and field.”
Kobayashi explains sports are different in Japan because unlike Canada where sports go by the season, sports in Japan go all year long. She says she had no time to participate in any other sports, so she decided to join the wrestling team.
“It was very difficult, but a lot of fun.”
Kobayashi says in her free time she enjoys reading Japanese comics called Manga, and she also took a skating class to learn how to skate at the Muti-Rec Centre. She says in Japan skating is very expensive, so she never learned how to do it, and she loves it.
Kobayashi says there is a 15 hour time difference which makes it difficult to talk to her family and friends back home. She would have to call her family at 10:00 p.m. right before bed to talk to them. She states she did not pick to come to Slave Lake adding she came here because this is where an available host family was.
What Kobayashi likes the most about Slave Lake is The Fix. Coffee Bar and Bakery. Her favourite drink is the white hot chocolate. She expresses the thing she likes the least about Slave Lake is how cold it is. “In Japan, it is already plus 20.”
Kobayashi will be in town until the end of the school year in June and hopes the weather warms up by then.