New study abroad program offers students a chance to visit Japan


Students Daniel Conner and Deya Trancoso staff the Japanese Culture Club table at the Club Fair Feb. 6 (Glendale)

Sophomores Daniel Conner and Deya Trancoso staff the Japanese Culture Club table at the Club Fair Feb. 6 (Glendale)

Japanese culture continues to thrive with cuisine, anime and manga now familiar to most young adults. The spike in interest may have to do with the amount of television programs and music now available online and in novelty stores. The Glendale Community College Japanese Culture Club continues to grow, and some students will soon get the chance to experience the real thing.
This semester the “Tomomi Hayashi”, a language instructor and organizer of the Japanese Culture Club, is inviting students to apply for a cultural excursion to study abroad in Japan. The trip will include stops in Kyoto, Nara, Hiroshima and Nikko. Students will learn conversation Japanese during their stay in Tokyo and immerse themselves in the eastern way of life for two weeks. Days will begin with a Japanese language lesson followed by visits to famous cultural sites such as the Kinkaku-ji temple. Hayashi has set aside locations like this to help students gain an appreciation for Japans history and its people.
One main goals of the study abroad trip is to help students to build strong cross-cultural communication skills. Hayashi accompanied a group of students on a study abroad trip in 2013 with many wanting to return. Hayashi said, “Students interested in the program must have an open mind and be willing to experience a new way of living.” The instructor has reserved dates for students to participate in activities like sushi making and a traditional Japanese tea ceremony. Those who decide to join the study abroad program will also have a few free nights of leisure to explore Tokyo unguided. Hayashi said, “Tokyo is one of the most important cities in the world, and there’s a lot going on culturally. It’s easy access to other cities from Tokyo.”
Orientation for the program will include a basic language instruction along with a lesson in etiquette and currency exchange beginning May 21. Students will depart to Japan on May 27 and return June 10. Students are encouraged to apply for the trip if they already have or are in the process of obtaining a travel passport. The initial deposit is due along with the first payment installment and the deadline for completed documents and payment is March 15th. Those interested in applying must have a personal statement of interest, two letters of recommendation and good academic standing. An interview with program directors is also required before approval for travel. All documents can be turned in personally or mailed to the International Education Office.