The Language of Friendship


This weekend, the SA Japanese class was invited to the house of Kaetsu University’s English Language teacher, Shimizu-sensei, for a cultural exchange party with her students. They offered “traditional” American food and Mexican cuisine, so a few of the study abroad students made the long trip out to Hanakoganei (about an hour away from the Kitazono Dormitory).


Matsuhashi-sensei, Abby, Cassandra, and Shannon wait for the bus outside Hanakoganei Station


“When you introduce yourself, it’s 初めまして、(name)-です,” Matsuhashi-sensei says.


Mingling: Tohru and Shannon meet Kaetsu students Miku and Kaede.

All of the food was cooked by Shimizu-sensei and her students. There was spare ribs, burgers, corn dogs, make-your-own tacos and nachos, enchiladas, deviled eggs, and a small cheese pizza.



Guacamole? What a rare treat!


Matsuhashi-sensei also baked an apple pie for all of the homesick American students.





Justynn and Kaede have fun talking about their interests and the struggles of learning a new language.


Special thanks to Shimizu-sensei and her students for welcoming us into her home and feeding us delicious food!

Communication was a bit of a struggle. Many of Shimizu-sensei’s students are beginners in English, just as the study abroad students are just beginning to learn basic phrases in Japanese. But the room was filled with chatting, laughter, pictures being passed around on iPhones, and exchanges of Facebook and Instagram accounts. Even though there was no common language, the exchange of culture drove the festivities onward. We look forward to meeting our new friends again!

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