"KAKEHASHI Project" Kobe University (Hyogo)

Dispatch in November 2013

Group 2 (Junior and Senior High School Students and University Students)
Kobe University (Hyogo)

Period: November 1 - 14, 2013
Local Visit Destination: Queens College, the City University of New York (New York)
Number of Participants: 25

Tour Photo Album

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

Photo of School exchange at Northeastern Illinois University (Campus tour)
School exchange at Northeastern Illinois University
(Campus tour)

Photo of School exchange at Northeastern Illinois University (Presentation)
School exchange at Northeastern Illinois University
(Presentation)

Photo of School exchange at Northeastern Illinois University
School exchange at Northeastern Illinois University

Photo of DIRTT Green Learning Center (Learning about local industry)
DIRTT Green Learning Center
(Learning about local industry)

Photo of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Academy (Presentation)
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Academy
(Presentation)

Photo of Deloitte (Learning about local industry) 1
Deloitte
(Learning about local industry)

Photo of Deloitte (Learning about local industry) 2
Deloitte
(Learning about local industry)

Photo of School exchange at the City University of New York (Participating in class activities)
School exchange at the City University of New York
(Participating in class activities)

Photo of School exchange at the City University of New York (Presentation) 1
School exchange at the City University of New York
(Presentation)

Photo of School exchange at the City University of New York (Presentation) 2
School exchange at the City University of New York
(Presentation)

Photo of School exchange at the City University of New York
School exchange at the City University of New York

Voices from Participants

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

  • I was most impressed with that there are some American students who are interested in Japan and study every day to know about the country. This made me feel close to them, even though they live across the ocean. I felt proud to give a presentation to such students, and at the same time had a sense of responsibility, so I think I could have a good experience.
  • To my surprise, the students learning Japanese have a strong interest in Japan's subculture. Therefore, I think that among Japanese people who visit the U.S. hoping to spontaneously interact with American students like us, there are not many who are familiar with Japanese subculture and can keep a conversation with them. In order to feel free to communicate with them, we need to think about what we can do to narrow this gap. I was glad, however, that our presentation about Japan's tourist sites and other attractions seemed to have drawn attention from the students who had grown interested in Japan through the subculture. I learned that they could have a favorable image of Japan itself, not only of its subculture.

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

  • Japan's history and culture fascinate many people. So I want to tell people in my community that it is important to preserve them to develop and pass down to the next generation without leaving them to die out. With the exception of Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto, Japanese cities are not well known by people in other countries, so we will have to figure out how to create awareness of these cities in the years ahead.
  • American people asked me many questions about Japan on different occasions, but I was ashamed that I couldn't often give my complete answers to their questions. I felt strongly that I had to know more about my own country before learning about the world. Many Japanese university students including myself tend to stay within the small community of their own with their friends that they made through their part-time jobs or school circle activities. They don't necessarily look at the whole world but I want them to at least take a step back to look at their surroundings from a different point of view. In the United States, a country of advanced capitalism, hard-working students are interested not only in their studies on campus but in a host of other things and are aggressively involved in various activities. I would like to tell people in my community that it's important to appreciate their own environment and work hard, not just be satisfied with the status quo

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

  • Thank you for this valuable experience. This project gave me the wonderful opportunity to visit a country of my dream, to see American culture and to meet American people. I hope to stay in touch with the people I met through the KAKEHASHI project.
  • It was my first visit to the United States, and I experienced great things that I never would in my daily life. I spent such amazing two weeks. The reason why the Project became a memorable event for me is that I could have not only the wonderful experience but a lot of fun. Thanks to the enjoyable program, we all could get excited with the interaction with American students, have a positive impression of America and hope to visit the U.S. again. I would like to thank everyone who supported us during the Project. Thank you very much.

[Contact Us]

The Japan Foundation Youth Exchange Bureau
TEL : +81-(0)3-5369-6022 FAX : +81-(0)3-5369-6042
infokakehashi@jpf.go.jp
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