Four Lincoln University students were recently enjoying summer in Japan in the middle of our winter, studying at Nara Women’s University as part of an exchange programme.
The relationship between the universities was started by a Lincoln University alumni, Professor Francesco Bolstad, who now lives and works in Japan.
Each year 20 to 30 students from Nara come to Lincoln for a four week intensive programme with an academic English focus.
Now it has become an exchange programme, with Lincoln students doing a two week summer school stint in Japan.
Madeline Sutherland, Kate Monteath, Becky Clements and Jasmine Goh travelled to Japan.
Becky and Jasmine say they wanted to experience the different culture, and though a lack of Japanese may have seemed an issue at first “super helpful” locals helped them to overcome it.
The topic the programme was focused on, “why is the world green?” caught Becky's interest as she is a student of conservation and ecology.
“I saw it as an opportunity to see what kind of research they are doing in Japan,” she says.
Jasmine also wanted to explore the differences between the New Zealand and Japanese ecosystems.
A highlight for Becky was the cultural experiences the trip allowed.
“We did a few field trips with the students on the course to different temples and we even took a traditional cooking class. I loved speaking to the Japanese girls and learning things about their culture and lives.”
“You will get to learn stuff that we might not learn for your courses, and will make lots of friends. Furthermore, you can also learn the culture and history of Japan,” Jasmine says.
“The course was also great, it was quite similar to content I had been learning at Lincoln but with a slightly different angle on it,” Becky says.
She also describes the lecturers and staff involved in organising the course in Japan as “incredibly helpful and very welcoming”.
So while the course was short it turned out to be something that will linger in their memories for a long time.
Lincoln encourages students to go on exchanges to learn from different cultural perspectives either for a short term or for a whole semester.