Winchester College Chapel
Keio School near Tokyo

Ben Miyano attends Keio school near Tokyo, a prestigious co-educational feeder school to Keio University – known as the ‘oldest institute of modern higher education in Japan.’ Keio Shonan-Fujisawa Junior & Senior High School – or simply, Keio, recently began a one-way exchange program to encourage their young students to study at traditional boarding schools – one of whom, this year, was Ben, who has just returned to Japan on completion of his year abroad, where he studied at Winchester College.

Winchester College is a far cry from the stark white structures of Keio, which was founded in 1992 and is attended by some 1500 students. Winchester College is, by contrast, the oldest public school in England; founded in 1382 by great architectural patron William of Wykehamone and the inspiration for Eton and Kings College Cambridge, it currently holds just shy of 700 students in its stone-walled, vaulted-ceilinged medieval buildings.

But Ben was quick to find his feet in his new environment, enjoying the change of scenery and of educational style, stating that he ‘thoroughly enjoyed the lessons at Winchester, especially the numerous experiments in chemistry and stimulating lessons in economics,’ and that he appreciated the student to teacher ratio, saying that the small size of classes helped him to better understand the material.

Ben also found that his time at Winchester greatly improved his English, both in his speaking and his writing, and benefited greatly from both Winchester College’s and his host families’ support.

He had this to say on his experience;

‘There were a variety of students around me; some were very hard working and ambitious. Throughout the year, I got a lot of practice with my English speaking and writing. The host family I stayed with were very kind, taking me around places of interest. My plan for the near future is to attend a Japanese university, but it is completely possible for me to come back to the UK for graduate school.’

We certainly hope so, Ben!’