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Sakura celebration for Burton and South Derbyshire College and Toyota City bond

The Japanese Society UK has gifted a Sakura cherry tree to Burton and South Derbyshire College (@BSDCofficial) in celebration of the special two-decade relationship between Japan and the UK.

Derbyshire and Toyota City have enjoyed a valuable, successful and mutually beneficial relationship since 1999 and each year, BSDC welcomes students from Toyota City to learn, collaborate and create long lasting friendships.

A group of BSDC’s home students, known as International Ambassadors welcome students from different countries and are keen to share their British culture and make their new friends feel at home. Students often stay in touch across the miles (once international students return home), maintaining relationships beyond visits. Not only does this gives students an ability to develop their cultural understanding of another part of the world and therefore help develop their global mind-set, but home students have also been inspired and found a passion for the Japanese language and culture, wanting to travel to Japan in the future.

Cherry blossom season is a national highlight of the annual calendar for Japanese locals and tourists alike, with flowering taking place during the last week of March and the first two weeks of April. People visit Japan from all over the world each year to witness the trees blossoming and, with this newly gifted tree, the College community and local residents can now do the same.

In addition to this, interest in studying the Japanese language and culture has risen significantly locally, with many local people opting to study Japanese language with BSDC at a range of levels, from total beginner classes to more advanced ones.

Speaking about BSDC’s relationship with Toyota City, Dawn Ward CBE, Chief Executive and Principal of BSDC said:

“Our relationship with Japan is incredibly important to us here at BSDC. It has brought significant benefits to our students and staff and has provided long lasting friendships across the College. These beneficial relationships are exemplified in our long lasting partnership with Toyota City seeing us welcome young people from Toyota City High Schools each year studying at BSDC. These visits add such a vibrancy to our College and I am thrilled that we now have this wonderful Sakura Cherry Tree with its annual bloom signifying this blossoming relationship.”

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