EXCHANGE STUDENT: Susan Robertson and Japanese exchange student, Yusuke Takaiwa at Carnarvon Gorge.
EXCHANGE STUDENT: Susan Robertson and Japanese exchange student, Yusuke Takaiwa at Carnarvon Gorge. Contributed

Kingaroy says G'day to our Japanese visitor

"G'day mate, how are you going?'

This may not seem like an unusual greeting in the South Burnett.

But it is a little strange when it comes from a friendly Japanese teenager.

It just so happens this Japanese teenager has enjoyed living in our wonderful region for the past six months.

Yusuke Takaiwa (pronounced Use-Key) has been staying with Kingaroy business owner, Susan Robertson and her family in Kingaroy since the start of 2019.

"He's a good fit with our family,” Mrs Robertson said.

Yusuke has been with the Robertsons since the middle of January and has been attending school at Kingaroy High School.

Mrs Robertson said Yusuke is passionate about cooking and he's a stickler for getting the correct pronunciation of English words.

"He is obsessed with food and how to cook food,” Mrs Robertson said.

"Predominately he's hell bent on wanting to get his English as good as he can.”

Mrs Robertson said Yusuke is treated just like any of the other kids.

"He still gets roused at,” she said.

"He still has his chores to do and we take turns in cooking and clean up.”

The Japanese student comes from a city called, Kanagawa.

A very busy Japanese city with a population of over 9 million.

"In Japan, my city is a big city,” Yusuke said.

"The South Burnett is very different.

"There is not many people or traffic lights.”

While Kingaroy might be a lot smaller than his home town in Japan, Yusuke seems to enjoy the more laid back lifestyle and everything else the Burnett has to offer.

"We've taken him on a few little jaunts,” Mrs Robertson said.

"We've been out to the Bunyas, to Dusty Hill and Mount Wooroolin.

"His dad came out about a month ago and we went out to the wind farm, Hannibal the bucket and took them out to the mine.”

While he enjoys travelling and seeing new places, Yusuke wasn't sure what direction his life would take after high school.

"To be honest I have no idea. I have so many choices,” he said.

"I don't even know what will happen in the future.

"I'd like to come back and go to uni in Australia and use my English.”

Yusuke leaves Kingaroy and makes his way back to Japan on Saturday, but his host family have other plans.

"I don't want him to go home,” Mrs Robertson said.

"It will be a sad day on Saturday.”

The host family mother encouraged all families to take on a exchange student if the opportunity arose.

"Go for it. Embrace the experience,” she said.

"Learn as much as you can from the student and make sure you treat them as a part of the family.”

Yusuke will take many Australian memories home with him when he heads back to Japan this weekend.

But there was thing he couldn't bring himself to try while he was here.

"I didn't eat any Vegemite,” he said.

"I'm taking some home for my parents.”

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