Mount Union Students Experience Japanese Culture

July 23, 2012

ALLIANCE, Ohio — In May, a group of Mount Union students, accompanied by Mount Union professor of Japanese Dr. Hamako Furuhata-Turner, traveled to Japan for a two-week travel seminar. While abroad, students were immersed in the Japanese lifestyle, went sightseeing and had an opportunity to be student ambassadors.

Trip participants included sophomore Arden Bement of Roaming Shores, OH; freshman media studies major Sarah Croley of Alliance, OH; senior Asian studies and history major Garth Hoffman of Mount Pleasant, PA; junior self defined interdisciplinary studies major Caroline Keller of Toledo, OH; Mount Union librarian Cheryl Paine; freshman Japanese and media computing major Miranda Genelle Gibbs Reeder of Hinckley, OH; junior accounting major Riki Reynolds of Marion, OH; senior criminal justice and Japanese major Jessica Schobert of Akron, OH and senior Japanese major Kassandra Turner of Kent, OH.

During the trip, students were given time to themselves to discover the Japanese culture firsthand through navigating their way on the subways, cooking Japanese food, learning the currency and communicating in the native language. Furuhata-Turner believes learning in this manner impacts the students more, makes it real to them and makes them more confident in themselves.

While tourists, students enjoyed walking around seeing urban buildings, having the opportunity to shop for Japanese memorabilia and dining in a four-star Chinese restaurant.

They also had an opportunity to visit a few Japanese schools. While there, the students spent their time tutoring students in the English language, teaching them spelling and the different sounds each letter combination makes. Students also enjoyed interacting with students their own age, finding they had common interests in music, friends and movies.

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