On June 21, Dr. Madelyn Young, associate professor of economics, Dr. Masumi Nakashima, adjunct professor of Japanese at Converse, Emily Hoffman ’11 and Lauren Hunter ’11 departed for Fukushima, Japan as part of a study/travel program. The opportunity stems from a cooperative program between Converse and Fukushima College. Young is chronicling her adventure through a blog. During the trip, Young will teach English for Fukushima College, Nakashima will teach Japanese culture/business culture and Hoffman and Hunter will spend their time studying Japanese culture and teaching English to high school and kindergarten students.
Hoffman and Hunter study Japanese language and culture with Professor Nakashima at Converse, and both are excited about the opportunity to experience Japan firsthand. Hunter said, “Because Japan in so prominent in the business world it is an excellent opportunity to understand the culture and ideas behind a lot of Japanese business culture. So much of the older culture is still important to the modern people. It is interesting to see how it meshes and how Western culture has influenced the Japanese as well.” She added, “As for the food, I am glad I like rice! It has been a great experience so far and I know it will continue to be so.”
This study abroad course offers Hoffman and Hunter various opportunities to experience both the traditional and modern Japanese culture. During their trip, the pair, along with Nakashima and Young, will participate in a tea ceremony, kimono practices, cook traditional Japanese meals and visit the hot spring onsen as well as several other sites.
Hoffman and Hunter will also study Japanese business management and learn about the social side of Japanese businesses through experiences, practices and exchanges with Fukushima students, faculty and businesspersons at Japanese firms. After the culture portion of the trip ends on July 5, Hoffman and Hunter will complete internships teaching English in a high school and in a kindergarten class.