Students visiting from Nagasaki University, pictured here with Lerner College Deputy Dean Rick Andrews, were excited to experience heavy snowfall during their visit to UD.

Global bonds

Lerner College hosts Nagasaki University students


2:38 p.m., March 23, 2015--Students from Nagasaki University in Japan visited the University of Delaware this month to take courses, meet students from a diverse range of cultures and experience the excitement that the East Coast classic has to offer.

The visiting students, hosted by UD’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, took courses in marketing and the history of United States currency, as well as a finance class in the Lerner College Trading Center with Dean Bruce Weber.

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Nagasaki University economics professor Yumiko Furumura, who led the students during their visit to UD, called this experience “very meaningful.”

“The students were very impressed with the school's facilities and modern classrooms,” added Desi Tom, associate economics professor at Nagasaki and Furumura’s co-leader during the trip. 

“They enjoyed the quality of the teaching and the interactivity of the teaching methods.”

Nagasaki University students experienced a UD women’s basketball game and ice skating at the Fred Rust Ice Arena, as well as off-campus tours of Washington, D.C., Herr’s Potato Chip Factory and an Amish community in Pennsylvania. They capped off their trip with some time in New York City.

Tom said that his students appreciated “sightseeing and learning about how Americans think and live.”

“The students also learned what it means to be Japanese,” he continued. “Without seeing how another culture acts and thinks, they cannot understand what is unique about their own culture.”

UD students joined the visiting students in celebrating Japan’s unique culture during the trip, as students from UD’s Nihongo Table (“Japanese table”) visited and made connections with the students from Nagasaki.

Nihongo Table members meet weekly with students from UD’s English Language Institute and plan trips to places like Mitsuwa, a Japanese food market in Edgewater, New Jersey.

Nihongo Table member Ariana Woodson has studied Japanese for eight years and hopes to one day become an international lawyer specializing in the East Asian region. She called the opportunity to meet and learn from Japanese students “amazing.”

“We speak with each other, we share our cultures and we get to know each other,” said Woodson. “It’s a great way to learn interpersonal skills with people of a different background than yours.”

In the future, there may be opportunities for students like Woodson to visit Nagasaki as the relationship between UD and Nagasaki University develops.

“It would be wonderful to plan a summer camp at Nagasaki in the near future,” said Rick Andrews, deputy dean of the Lerner College. 

Andrews has had a key role in building UD’s partnership with Nagasaki University. After visiting Nagasaki last April, Andrews worked with Furumura and Tom to create this semester’s program at UD. This month he accompanied the visiting students on a number of activities.

“We hope that the students were pleased with their experience here in the United States and at UD,” Andrews said, adding that some of the Nagasaki University students may return to UD as international students in coming years. 

“This is a critical part of creating global programs and serving a global student population,” Andrews said.

The Nagasaki University students and their professors had one final surprise during their last days in Delaware: a snowstorm that brought over seven inches of snow to the area.

“None of us are from areas that get much snow, and to see how people live with it on a daily basis was very interesting,” Tom said. “The students had a wonderful time playing in the snow with their host families. They made snowmen and snow angels, got into snowball fights and went sledding.”

Article by Sunny Rosen

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