Students reflect on Explore Japan 2018

Kayla Trent, Assistant Editor

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Over the summer, several students were given the chance to stay in Japan from May 16-31. The Trailblazer was able to attend a presentation given by Yoshiko Cockerham, Japanese Language and History professor, and her students. During this presentation, they described their experiences in Japan to give other Vincennes University students and faculty a better understanding of what their annual trip entails.

During the two weeks of the Japan trip, each student stayed with a different host family. This gave them the opportunity to experience Japanese culture in the most authentic way possible.

Jonah Martin, a student who is currently studying the Japanese language and culture, wants to teach English as a second language in Japan.

“[My host family] treated me as part of the family and helped me with my Japanese,” said Martin. She also mentioned that she was able to help them with their English, too.

In addition to spending time with their host families, students were also able to enjoy sightseeing and touring as a group. They explored Japan’s major cities, visited elementary and middle schools, enjoyed some of Japan’s beautiful landscapes, ate authentic Japanese cuisine and more.

One thing that each of the students collectively noticed was the many differences between Japan and the U.S.

One difference that Christian Swinford took note of was the difference in transportation. Before going to Japan, Swinford had never used a train. In Japan, however, trains are a primary use of transportation.

“If there is one thing I learned from this trip, it’s that Japan is very efficient,” Swinford said.

Cockerham encouraged students to consider taking courses in regard to the Japanese Language and History program and to attend next years’ Explore Japan trip.

For students that are interested in studying abroad, there are several opportunities available. Vincennes University offers exchange programs at Utsunomiya University and Sakushin Gakuin University.

 

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Students reflect on Explore Japan 2018