Students experience Asia (Part 6)
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
By Erin Minor
Pac Rim 2007 students have been taking classes at Ibaraki Christian
University for one week. Most of the students have finally settled in
to a much more slow-paced life with their host families. In addition
to taking a Japanese class, Culture class, Bible class, and
Interpersonal Communication class at Ibaraki Christian, the students
are going on approximately three field trips each week.
The most recent activity the group took part in was a trip to Aqua
World Oarai. The students were fascinated by the wide variety of fish
the aquarium had to offer. The group watched a dolphin show and given
a tour of the backstage area of the aquarium. Here, they were able to
view how the separate aquarium tanks were cleaned and they were able to
see the types of foods the animals were given.
Ansley Peters, a junior at Oklahoma Christian, said, “The ‘hands on’
area was my favorite part. I loved seeing the underside of the starfish
when I picked it up. I also liked the different textures of the fish.”
For some of the other Pac Rim students Tokyo Disneyland may have been
the highlight of their week. Although Tokyo Disneyland is much smaller
than Disneyland in California or Disney World in Florida, the students
enjoyed their time with their host siblings. Surprisingly, Disneyland
served as a learning experience for many of them as well. For
instance, Kitty Vogt noticed that most of the Disney characters looked
“Disney characters like Cinderella, Belle, and Ariel look American,” Vogt said.
Another difference many of the students noted was that their host
siblings were able to recognize most of the Disney characters, but they
had never seen the movies associated with the character.
“My host sister was so excited when she saw Lilo and Stitch in costume,
but I found out later that she had never seen the movie because it is
in English,” Jamie Martin said.
Several students have eaten at a traditional Japanese sushi
restaurant this past week as well. In most Japanese sushi restaurants,
there is a conveyor belt in the middle of the restaurant surrounded by
tables for the guests to eat at. There are many different types of
sushi for the guest to choose from. Therefore, the guest may take as
many plates or different types of sushi as they like. At the end of
the meal, a worker comes to your table and calculates the total bill by
how many plates each guest has eaten.
The last activity some of the students have taken part in with
their host families is a day at the onsen. An onsen is a Japanese
public bath house, similar to a spa in America.
Reid Agan said, “The onsen was so relaxing. I’m planning on going again before I leave [Japan].”
David Lowry and John Osborne are visiting Ibaraki Christian University
for a few days this week and the students are looking forward to seeing
some familiar faces. However, their schedule is full with classes, a
day trip to Nikko and a visit to the Ibaraki Nature Museum. In
addition, several of the students are involved in the Let’s Start
Talking (LST) program on the IC campus. The group will be traveling to
New Zealand at the end of the month, where they will be given the
opportunity to participate in several extreme sports such as bungee
jumping, zorbing, and black water rafting.