April 08, 2010


ALLIANCE, Ohio-- On Monday, sixteen students from Baika Women's College in Osaka, Japan arrived on Mount Union's campus for the annual Baika Summer Program, which provides the Japanese students with an opportunity to learn about American culture and experience it first-hand.

According to Cheryl Lundgren, director of the Baika Summer Program at Mount Union, the relationship between the schools was established in 1980 with the purpose of creating opportunities for international study. Administrators from Baika wanted an international relationship that would allow their students to live and study in America in order to practice and improve their English language skills and to better understand American culture and family life.

The success of the summer program has led to a formal sister-school relationship between Mount Union and Baika and the acceptance of one-year Baika students at Mount Union, with the first students attending in 1986. A faculty exchange program is also in place.

The three-week summer program focuses on what it means to be an American. Students attend daily classes in American culture, fine arts and American Literature. Through the class readings and discussions, students come to know something about the spirit of America by studying our history, ethnic diversity, personal characteristics, religious roots, values and traditions.

Special events for this year's program include a welcome reception Friday, July 20 from 7 to 9:30 p.m. in the Hoover-Price Campus Center.

A family picnic with hosts and students is planned for Monday, July 23 at 5:30 p.m. at Silver Park's main pavilion.

A Sayonara Party is planned for Friday, August 3 at 6:45 p.m. The students will depart Alliance on August 5, stopping for visits in New York City and Detroit before returning home to Japan.

Serving as host parents this year are Perry and Sami Bowlin, Jeff and Fran Calvin, Joseph and Tammy Carl, Al and Lucy Eibel, Mike and Kathy Kent, Tom and Pat Manzell, John and June Porter, Chris and Debbie Skubiak, James and Pam Warchol, and Doug and Linda Wonner.

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