"KAKEHASHI Project" Kure National College of Technology (Hiroshima Pref.)

Dispatch in March 2014

Group 5 (High School Students)
Kure National College of Technology (Hiroshima Pref.)

Period: March 16 - 29, 2014
Local Visit Destination: Whitney M. Young Magnet High School (Illinois)
Number of Participants: 25

Tour Photo Album

Photo of Orientation in the U.S.
Orientation in the U.S.
(Presentation practice)

Photo taken at Microsoft Corporation
Microsoft Corporation
(Learning about local industry)

Photo taken at Future of Flight Aviation Center
Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour
(Learning about local industry)

Photo taken at Reception hosted by the Consulate-General of Japan in Seattle
Reception hosted by the Consulate-General of Japan in Seattle at Shoreline Community College

Photo taken at Roosevelt High School 1
School exchange at Roosevelt High School
(Presentation)

Photo taken at Roosevelt High School 2
School exchange at Roosevelt High School

Photo taken at Whitney M. Young Magnet High School 1
School exchange at Whitney M. Young Magnet High School
(Participating in class)

Photo taken at Whitney M. Young Magnet High School 2
School exchange at Whitney M. Young Magnet High School
(Presentation)

Photo taken at Whitney M. Young Magnet High School 3
School exchange at Whitney M. Young Magnet High School

Photo taken at HL — A Co., Inc.
HL — A Co., Inc.
(Learning about local industry)

Photo of Debriefing session 1
Debriefing session at the Georgia Institute of Technology

Photo of Debriefing session 2
Debriefing session at the Georgia Institute of Technology

Voices from Participants

1. What impressed you most in this experience of promoting the charms of Japan in the U.S.?

  • Listening to the presentations about Japan's prided technologies the students from my school gave helped me learn about the qualities of Japan I had not known before. I was inspired by my classmates and proud to see them speak before the staff of the consulate and the embassy. Our audience was enthusiastic about listening to our presentations, and this was encouraging, since this made me realize that I was actually speaking in English even if I did it poorly. Giving presentations repeatedly to large audience gave me courage and confidence.
  • What impressed me most was our presentation in Chicago before the members of many host families. A woman from one family said to me, "Now that I saw you giving your presentations, I understand the high level of Japanese technology." Her words made me realize that our audience sees Japan both through the technologies we presented and through us presenting the technologies. To communicate more of Japan's qualities to the world, I felt that, as a future engineer, I need to acquire not only technical skills but also English and a well-rounded character.

2. What would you like to pass on to people in your community and school after you return to Japan?

  • Everyone is active and self-motivated. This was what I felt when we observed a high school class in the United States. It was completely different from classes in Japan. All the students were keen to participate. The teacher only raised an issue, left it to the students to develop a discussion, come up with ideas, and solve the issue on their own. Each of the students has own views, and they were enthusiastic about debating the issue at hand and getting their point across. I realized that wherever you go, it is important to be true to yourself, not to be swayed by others, and to accept the views of others and yet respect your own.
  • I want to share the joy of international exchange so that more people wish to participate or will actually participate. I also intend to relay that you gain so much from the exchange. By talking about my experiences in the United States, and sharing everything I gained, I hope I can spark everyone's interest in international exchange. It would be great if people, who were already interested but did not yet have the courage to participate, decided to participate because of my stories.

3. Please freely describe your experience in the KAKEHASHI Project.

  • In the course of this project, I feel like I gained several years' worth of experience. I want to thank everyone involved in organizing it. Among my all experiences in the United States, the one that left the strongest impression on me was the debriefing session at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Thanks to it, everything that had been merely fun and abstract transformed into concrete plans of what to do after I return to Japan. There were so many things I want to do as people in the U.S. do. To name a few: watch people around you, offer a helping hand to people in trouble; say "thank you" more often than "sorry"; and not hesitate to take on challenges. Someone told me not to be afraid of failing but to be afraid of losing an opportunity. I hope to keep this new way of thinking forever engraved in my mind.
  • Looking back again on this project, I think it became a life-changing point for me. Since I want to work abroad in the future, I had some knowledge of U.S. culture and lifestyle before the trip. But there were so many things I did not understand until I actually went there and became part of my host family. I was able to absorb them thanks to the KAKEHASHI Project. Now with many more Japanese friends who aim for similar goals in the future, and with friends and family in the world to cheer me on, I am brimming with motivation. I cannot wait to come back to the United States.

[Contact Us]

The Japan Foundation Youth Exchange Bureau
TEL : +81-(0)3-5369-6022 FAX : +81-(0)3-5369-6042
infokakehashi@jpf.go.jp
(When sending e-mail, please enter a half-width character "@" instead of a full-width character "@.")

Page Top