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Exchange of a lifetime

Ivana Pelisek | Interrobang | News | March 23rd, 2009

Fanshawe College and Ibaraki Christian University in Kanto Plains, Japan have partnered up giving students a chance to learn abroad and experience different cultures.

“The main idea is to have domestic (Canadian) students from Fanshawe have the opportunity to experience a cultural opportunity abroad,” said Kim Rowe, an International student Advisor at Fanshawe College.

Two students will be selected from Fanshawe College to experience life abroad beginning May 7 to June 4, 2009.

Rowe believes opportunities such as the exchange have a positive impact on students' learning and the international awareness here at the college.

For the fourth consecutive year, the two students will be enrolled in basic Japanese courses allowing for proper language skills to develop while abroad.

“The students visiting Ibaraki will be taking classes in Intercultural Communication, basic Japanese and related classroom and also off-campus activities,” she said.

The qualifying students must be Canadian citizens who possess English as their first language and are currently in second, third, or fourth year of a diploma, applied degree or graduating as of June 2009 from a graduate certificate.

Rowe stated English as a first language is crucial, as Fanshawe students will be required to teach Basic English to the Japanese Students.

Ibaraki, established 35-years ago, is located in the northeastern part of the Kanto Plains and is within 120 km of Tokyo, on the Pacific Coast and preferably excels in the field of education, and social welfare through living and learning experiences.

Rowe said the relationship between Ibaraki and Fanshawe is an excellent one. Both post-secondary institutions have a professional friendship that allows both their students and Fanshawe's students to visit one another and enhance awareness amongst different cultures around the world.

To be eligible for the exchange, students must posses at least a ‘B' average in their chosen studies at the college and demonstrate a strong ability to communicate effectively across different cultures.

Also, students must submit a 1,000-1,500 word paper, which is to be one-sided, double-spaced, 10-point Arial font and must include a topic from the following list.

- How do you identify yourself as a Canadian

- How would you represent Fanshawe College in this type of cultural exchange

- How would this cultural experience impact your future goals

A follow up interview may be required.

Rowe said Ibaraki has already sent two of their students this past month to join the Fanshawe College community. They are reportedly both doing great and enjoying their time at the school.
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