February 22, 2008
Susquehanna hosts Japanese students
Since 1986, students from Senshu University have traveled to Susquehanna from Tokyo, Japan as part of Senshu's International Ex-change program.
While here, the students take a class every morning in Apfelbaum Hall with Mimi Rice, who works as the Continuing Education leader for the group.
This semester, the group is comprised of nine Senshu students, all female, who are either in their freshman or sophomore years.
Although their personal experiences while in the United States may be different, they all come for very similar reasons.
"I wanted to experience studying in America," Yuri Nishimura said.
The students said that they have noticed a difference in the way that students in America act in class as opposed to in Japan, especially the way that "American students are always raising their hands," Nishimura noted.
Another student, Arisa Tanaka, said that her reason for coming to Susquehanna was because she is learning English, and she wants to be able to be able to speak it fluently.
While here, the students stay with host families, some of whom live in Selinsgrove, while others stay with families who live in Lewisburg or Northumberland.
It is through the families that they get to learn more about American customs.
The students have taken special note to the differences between the servings of food.
Another Senshu student, Mio Yamazaki, said, "In Japan, there are many dishes. But here, there is only one main dinner. That is a big difference."
Rice said that the host families are very nice and that by taking in a Senshu student, the surrounding communities get to learn more about Susquehanna.
"Even though they live in the area, many of the host families don't know much about the school, and having a [Senshu] student live with them helps them find out more about Susquehanna," Rice said.
Although they are only on campus for about eight hours a day, the Senshu students interact with multiple groups on campus.
The Senshu students participated in events with the Asian Student Coalition and SU International, and they have unofficial "Peer Buddies" with members of the French Club.
Rice said, "It's good to have that camaraderie" with other students.
This winter, the visiting students attended the home of Denise Moy, associate director of admissions, where they celebrated the Chinese Lunar New Year with other Asians from Susquehanna.
In addition to taking classes, Rice said that the group will also "try to do some service learning."
Just as Senshu students from the past have done, the group will go to the Selinsgrove Area High School to talk to the students about what it's like to live in Japan and to teach them about Japanese culture.
The Senshu students will also reach out to the Susquehanna campus near the end of their stay.
They will present a showcase in Degenstein Campus Center called "Japan at a Glance," which will provide the Susquehanna community with pictures and information.
The exchange program is also open to Susquehanna students, who can go to Senshu University to study the Japanese language and culture.
The Senshu students are studying here on what is their winter break and will return to Japan at the end of March to start their next semester.
The Senshu Program at Susquehanna started in 1986. Last year there were nine students that came to campus.
The students attend Senshu University in Kanagawa, Japan, twenty miles south of Tokyo.
Senshu University was founded in September 1880.
Each year, approximately 250 Senshu students study abroad to 18 universities around the world, four of which are in the United States.
Besides Susquehanna, they include the University of Illinois at Urbana, the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and the University of Oregon.
Other countries include the United Kingdom, Germany, France, New Zealand, Mexico, Spain, Ireland and Australia.
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