Ten Japanese college students and their professor are making Wright State University and the Dayton region their home for two weeks as part of an international exchange program.
The Wright State University-KAKE Educational Institute Exchange Program features students from three universities: Okayama University of Science, Okayama University of Science Specialized Training College and Kurashiki University of Science and the Arts.
This is Wright State’s longest international institutional partnership, with the universities exchanging students for more than 41 years.
Last June, 10 Wright State students and Megan Trickler, a coordinator in the University Center for International Education, traveled to Okayama, Japan, for two weeks. The students experienced Japanese culture and learned about sushi, Japanese cotton kimonos and surfing and attended several festivals. They also visited several other cities including Tokyo, Hiroshima City and Choshi.
“It’s wonderful that Wright State has this partnership and that we’ve been able to maintain it for so many years,” said Michelle Streeter-Ferrari, director of Wright State’s University Center for International Education.
The students have toured Wright State, taken English language and culture classes and planted a sakura tree, or cherry blossom tree, in the Garden of Senses, bringing to 11 the number of sakura trees that have been planted on campus during the partnership.
“Cherry blossom is very important in Japan,” said Yoko Maekawa, Ph.D., a professor at Okayama University of Science. “It is also a symbol of their new life.”
The program runs from Aug. 30 through Sept. 13. The Japanese students will also visit various sites and landmarks around the Dayton region.