California State University, Chico Hosts Reception in Honor of Visiting Japanese Dignitaries, Students and Teachers

Date: 08-09-2016

CONTACT: Michele Chandler, Public Affairs
Office: 530-898-4260

Diana Parks, Office of International Education
Office: 530-898-6049

California State University, Chico’s International Training Office will host a reception on Wednesday, August 10, to honor an educational and cultural exchange that has brought 20 high school students and four high school English teachers from Okinawa, Japan, to Chico State for three weeks.

Members of the media are invited to attend the reception from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in Bell Memorial Union, Room 203.

Two representatives from the Consulate General of Japan’s San Francisco office will attend the reception, including Senior Coordinator for Educational Affairs Steven Goldman. Also attending will be Maiko Tamagawa, special advisor for educational affairs at the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco.

Two members of the Okinawa School Board will also attend the reception to encourage the exchange program, as will Chico Unified School District Trustee Liz Griffin.

CSU, Chico President Gayle Hutchinson also plans to attend the reception.

The Japanese students and teachers arrived at CSU, Chico on July 25 as part of the Okinawa Global Leadership Summer Program 2016. That program provides seminars and activities designed to help international students sharpen their English language proficiency, learn leadership skills and prepare to attend a university in the US.

All the participants from Japan spent the first four days of the program living on campus in student dorms. After that, the high school students moved in with host families in Chico to broaden their cross-cultural experience here, while the teachers stayed in an area hotel. Several host families will attend Wednesday’s reception.

The Okinawa Board of Education is fully funding all costs of the program, which ends on August 14.

While at CSU, Chico, the Japanese educators will observe classes the visiting students are taking and also will participate in seminars designed to present the teachers with current methodologies used for teaching English as a second language.

CSU, Chico has “an outstanding history for doing training of this type,” said Diana Parks, director of international training for the University’s Office of International Education.

The University has offered short-term, professional international training sessions for 24 years, designed for professionals ranging from newspaper reporters and workers at non-governmental organizations to people involved in community development, she said.

CSU, Chico has held programs exclusively for teachers from abroad for the past six years, according to Parks.

The Okinawa Global Leadership Program 2016 is being made possible by a first-time partnership between CSU, Chico and The Experiment in International Living, a US-based nonprofit that runs a variety of summer abroad programs designed to give high school students a better understanding of the world.

Two representatives from The Experiment in International Living will attend the reception: Hiro Suzuki, executive director of the Japanese Association of The Experiment in International Living, and Fujiko Asano, assistant to the national director of The Experiment in International Living.