Building Global Connections
This summer, 11 students from Otsuma Nakano High School in Tokyo, Japan, are participating in the second annual “Arts and Culture Program” on the University of Saint Joseph campus. The program is the result of a collaboration between the University and its sister school in Tokyo, Otsuma Women’s University. During the two-week program, the Otsuma Nakano students are taking classes in dance, art, education, and nursing – all of which are led by USJ faculty members. The students will also be going on several outings in the area, including visits to Elizabeth Park, the Mark Twain House, the Wadsworth Atheneum, Mystic, and the Statue of Liberty. The students are accompanied by the head teacher of Otsuma Nakano High School, Mr. Takayori Mizusawa. This year the students had a pre-departure orientation by Katelyn Baez ’17, a USJ student who has been studying abroad at Otsuma and working as an English tutor there.
Most importantly, the program gives the 11 high schoolers a chance to meet and interact with our University of Saint Joseph students. Nine USJ students are serving as “International Liaisons” for the Japanese students. The liaisons participate in activities with the students, make them feel welcome in the residence hall, and assist in a variety of ways – from making sure there are enough snacks in Madonna Hall to getting the students to class on time. Best of all, they build lasting friendships that form an intercultural bridge between USJ and the rest of the world.