MISSOULA – The Missoula Sentinel academic WorldQuest team has been selected to visit Japan for nine days, starting this Monday, to promote relations between the two countries.
The team received the honor after finishing second in the WorldQuest competition at the University of Montana back in March and will head overseas with the first place team from Gardiner.
This is all part of The Kakehashi Project, which is sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The group will start in Tokyo before heading over to Missoula’s sister city, Kumamoto, and then heading back to Tokyo to finish the trip.
Team sponsor and Sentinel social studies teacher Jena Burke said the invitation was a surprise, adding the team was actually trying to win the event so they could travel to Washington, D.C.
“No, and none of them got involved with academic WorldQuest thinking that that was an end result,” Burke said. “They only wanted to win the competition and go to Washington.”
“The parents needed a little convincing,” she added, “because they were like, ‘Wait, what?’ ‘Someone’s just going to pay for you to go to Japan?’ So it’s been pretty incredible and pretty fast-paced. That was only the middle of April that we found out any of this.”
The team has been preparing for their trip by learning some customs from the Japanese program at the University of Montana.
-Reported by Connor McCauley/MTN News