Global perspective

We will visit educational and business institutions in order to plan and manage programs from an educational perspective. We will provide a clear goal for the student visitation and promote an effective global educational program with rewarding outcomes.
  • When visiting Akaka Falls on the first day of our visit, I found that the vegetation was different from Japan, and it was a soothing experience watching the waterfall and the nature that expanded all around us. I was reminded that the plants and animals were smart. Most of the plants and animals evolved to adapt to their environment, like some flowers that bloom at different timings, trees that extend their roots from their branches to obtain water and nutrients. All of these were new discoveries to me. Homestay was an important event for me and I really think that it could have been longer. There were many opportunities to use English during homestay and there were multiple times where I would need to think of how to convey my message, so it was good practice. When speaking English, I found for the first time that pronunciation was very important. I knew beforehand that pronunciation was important, but I was surprised that by just being a bit off in pronouncing something, the word would not be understood at all. Also, the words I thought I learned didn’t come out at all. The easy words that were in our English notebooks didn’t smoothly come out during our conversations. I found that those words hadn’t stuck on to us at all. We went through so much valuable experiences during our 10-day science camp.

    Ryusei Okude, Tezukayama Junior High School (Nara Prefecture)

  • I went to the Science Camp and just as our teacher had said, I was able to experience many things. During the first half of the program in Hilo, while eating lunch with the University of Hawaii students, we got into a conversation regarding where you would want to live when you grow up. Without hesitation, I said that I wanted to keep living in Japan. When I asked them the same question, they seemed to ponder for a bit, and they told me that they were worried about the governmental policies, and if things were not to change, they would look to move to another country. I was surprised that their decisions were based on politics. As for me, the students tried hard to understand what I was saying, so I was able to clearly pass my message across to them. By the time we left for home, I figured the English I’m hearing now, is what English was supposed to sound like.

    Lastly, I was happy that we were able to spend time together with a large group of 40 students, and that I enjoyed the environment where English was the main language. Especially, the exchange with the Mililani students was where I had the best experience.

    Noriaki Iwata, Tezukayama Junior High School (Nara Prefecture)

  • During the science camp, I learned many things from Teachers at University of Hawaii at Manoa and other schools. It was the first time I was so captivated by geography and botany. It made me wonder if I am indeed the same person who forgot to water my assigned tulips during my elementary school days. I don’t know why I did not have any appreciation to nature, even though it’s always been around me, and there are volcanoes in Japan too. I feel that it wasn’t just because we came all the way here to listen to the lectures. I’d like to thank the teachers and people at the visited institutions for the opportunity.

    Tomoya Ichikawa, Tezukayama Junior High School (Nara Prefecture)

  • I was able to discover the Japanese spirit residing in Japanese-American immigrants through this study program. I felt that the “OKAGE SAMA DE” exhibit at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii held values that the Japanese people have forgotten today. These values include appreciation towards their ancestors and to the people who take care of them. I have become so accustomed to my life that I have forgotten my appreciation toward my friends and family, and the people who take care for me. The words “OKAGE SAMA DE” has opened my eyes to the importance of being able to hold appreciations towards things, and I decided that I wanted to become a person with gratitude in myself.

    Ayane Hisaeda, Japanese Red Cross Kyushu International College 2nd year

  • I learned two things from my exchange at Aiea High School; you can converse by using even simple words and having a skill to reach out is important in communication. We can fill the gap between one another by reaching out to talk, rather than being shy. I was also surprised to learn that because of Japanese immigration there are many Nikkei people living in Hawaii today. Many people speak Japanese as well and they still have family in Japan. I couldn’t talk with everyone because of limited time, but I would like to have a longer conversation with people who live outside of Japan if given a chance again.

    Ai Tonsho, Nagaoka High School  2nd year

  • A new place, atmosphere, breeze and culture. I felt the most difference in culture. I had many surprises and discoveries in my exchange with people in Hawaii during my homestay and school life at Mililani Middle School. So many things were different from Japan: there was no genkan (entrance hall of a house), toilet and shower were in the same room, trash disposal rules were different, and classroom behavior was different. It was very different from the culture I’m familiar with in Japan. This made me puzzled and a bit homesick at first. However, as I got used to it, I started to enjoy my stay in Hawaii, and found that experiencing a foreign culture can be very educational, by seeing, sensing, and feeling first hand. I could recognize the great qualities of Japan which I never saw before and see the great qualities of Hawaii as well. I think learning about a foreign culture gives us a chance to build friendly relationships with one another.

    Misaki Hida, Ekisen Jr. High School (Oita Prefecture) 3rd year (9th grade)

  • I found many differences between Hawaii and Japan during this program. People in Hawaii were very outgoing and don’t hesitate to ask questions. I would be too shy to talk to a foreigner, so it made me jealous, and I thought I would like to be outgoing like them too. I think it’s a virtue of the people of Hawaii.

    Tsuzumi Abe, Ekisen Jr. High School (Oita Prefecture) 3rd year (9th grade)

  • The students at Mililani Middle School and my host family were all very kind. Since I didn’t have my own seat at Mililani Middle School, my partner, Jewel, would always bring me a chair. I would always say “Thank you” When I try to take my chair back to where it was at the end of class, a classmate boy would say “I got it.” and put the chair back for me. I would say “Thank you.” and he would say “You’re welcome.” Not many people say, “You’re welcome” in Japan, so this was very refreshing and made me happy.

    I would say “thank you” when my host family opened the door for me or took me out on an excursion, and they would say “you’re welcome” or “uh-huh”, which was hard for me to pronounce. Every time I said something, I received a response, so it made me happy every time I said, “thank you” I thought it’s a nice cultural experience that Japan doesn’t have.

    Another thing that made me happy was everyone’s smiles. Japanese people cover their mouths when they laugh, but people in Hawaii burst into laughter; so loud that it made me laugh along with them.

    Everyone was attentive to listen to what the teacher was saying and didn’t hesitate to ask questions. They raised their hands to speak instead of being picked. Many Japanese don’t say their opinion when they have one, but people in Hawaii would state them. I thought that is a great cultural trait. Everyone was friendly and had a big heart.

    Rizu Yamasaki, Seibu Jr. High School (Oita Prefecture) 3rd year (9th grade)

  • We had seven study sessions prior to the visit, and I was most impressed by the talk that Ms. Mayumi Miyahara gave when she visited us. She talked about how to prepare our minds for our first study abroad experience. She also taught us very important skills in life such as “express your opinion to others” and “have a reason behind your action.” I want to be like Ms. Miyahara who knows how to meet her goals.

    Tomomi Honda, Seibu Jr. High School (Oita Prefecture) 3rd year (9th grade)

  • I was able to be more conscious of being assertive during my time at Mililani Middle School, such as not hesitating to ask questions to my partner. I was nervous to engage in an English-only conversation at first, which is why I couldn’t even get half my thoughts across. However, I think I was able to make the most of what I learned by listening carefully and thinking.

    I was able to answer questions such as “What do you like?” or “Do you play any sports?”, however, I thought I had to ask a question back and that made me nervous. When I calmed down and started finding my words, the listener tried to listen and said, “take your time” which was very kind. I had a fruitful three days being able to make lots of new friends and attending classes that I normally wouldn’t.

    Nonoka Itahashi, Seibu Jr. High School (Oita Prefecture) 3rd year (9th grade)


  • We had a short stay at Mililani Middle School. I found that everyone was very friendly to us. People say Japanese are often shy, but I wanted to follow Hawaii’s great example of giving the “welcome” feeling. There are many differences in classes between Japanese junior high schools and Hawaii’s middle schools. How the students behave and react in class stood out to me. In Japan, students chat while the teacher is talking, but that wasn’t the case in Hawaii. I thought we have so much to learn from how students in Hawaii talked and behaved toward their teachers, and that was interesting to me.

    Sawa Nagamatsu, Hokubu Jr. High School (Oita Prefecture) 3rd year (9th grade)

  • From now on, I would like to keep two things in mind. The first one is to accept other’s thoughts and feelings. By respecting one’s feelings, they will in turn respect my feelings. The second one is to learn more about Japanese culture. During this study program, I introduced a traditional Japanese game. However, I found that there were many things that I didn’t know about our traditions. This meant that I wouldn’t be able to do a good cultural exchange. So, in order to have an equal exchange, I found that it was important for me to know more about my own culture. Therefore, I would be able to hold a more in-depth exchange between people in another country and be able to have a wider perspective of the world. These two goals will lead to having a good relationship with one another, and it also connects to my goal of “peace.” So, I will keep these two in mind from now.

    Kakeru Maeomichi, Sera West Junior High School (Hiroshima Prefecture) 2nd year (8th Grade)

  • The quote “While you are free to choose your course of action, you are not free to choose the consequences” has made a great impression on me.  This meant that you are able to choose what to do but you cannot choose the result. The first time I heard this quote, I quickly related it to my school life. For example, you can choose to turn in your homework, but you can’t choose the result or the grade you get for it. From now on, I would like to set a definite goal or objective and choose my course of action wisely.

    When my host family was giving me a tour of their town, a passer-by came up to me and to strangers, so it was a refreshing experience.

    I was surprised by the proactive stance of the Americans, as well as their welcoming nature. I was pulled toward this mentality as I found that I was saying my hellos to strangers. One of the goals I made was to improve my English and I found that being proactive was a key factor in doing so. Also, even if you don’t get something the first time, I found it was really important to keep asking until you actually got it. Moreover, I found the effort of trying to respond to words in a conversation was important.

    Miho Fujikawa, Sera Junior High School (Hiroshima Prefecture) 2nd year (8th grade)

  • “The meaning of learning global perspective is to not look at something from one perspective, but to think “wait a minute! Maybe…” and to look at something from a different perspective. So, by keeping this in mind you are able to learn what global perspective is. I was able to look back at Japan from a Hawaiian perspective, so I was able to notice things I wouldn’t have, which made this a great study program.”

    Sera Town Junior High School (Hiroshima Prefecture), Selected from student essays

  • The children of today will need to put themselves at a global scale in order to live through this generation. They will need to be able to speak multiple languages, easily venture outside Japan, and be able to understand a foreign culture through communication.

    “I was amazed at the culture of Hawaii,” “I found out how wonderful Japan actually was,” “I was touched by the warm hospitality,” “I learned the importance of peace.” These were the comments that I kept hearing from the students. These experiences that they made in Hawaii has become a priceless one, which will surely stay with them for the rest of their lives. I greatly anticipate the bright future of these children who will be the ones to take to the next generation of Sera and of Japan.

    Sera Town Study Abroad Program

    Yuko Matsuura, Superintendent, Sera Town Board of Education

  • I was able to discover the Japanese spirit residing in Japanese-American immigrants through this study program. I felt that the “OKAGE SAMA DE” exhibit at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii held values that the Japanese people have forgotten today. These values include appreciation towards their ancestors and to the people who take care of them. I have become so accustomed to my life that I have forgotten my appreciation toward my friends and family, and the people who take care for me. The words “OKAGE SAMA DE” has opened my eyes to the importance of being able to hold appreciations towards things, and I decided that I wanted to become a person with gratitude in myself.

    Ayane Hisaeda, Japanese Red Cross Kyushu International College 2nd year

  • I believe that the world is going through global changes, where we need to expand our perspectives, so not knowing something will not be a valid excuse anymore. On the other hand, in order to not be left behind from global trends, you would need to know more about world affairs.

    I was surprised of so many things during my stay in Hawaii, but I was most surprised about how friendly American people are. At a store, the clerk came up to me and said, “how are you doing?” I was amazed at the closeness between the people, but it felt nice to be treated this way.

    In Japan, formality is very important and there are set manners that you have to follow when greeting someone, so I felt it was great that they don’t have to deal with those kinds of things. Japanese people are often seen as shy, although by actively challenging their goals, I believe will make our culture more productive.

    Kakeru Tanaka, Seinan Gakuin University – Department of Literature – Division of English Literature 2nd year

  • We learned in depth about the extreme lives of the Japanese immigrants who came to Hawaii. We watched the video titled, “The Lost Battalion,” which was about the 442nd Regimental Combat Team who held Japanese values and defended their U.S. citizenship when fighting the war. I didn’t know about this until I watched the video and it hurt to imagine two races looking like each other fighting against each other. I strongly felt the difference between our worlds, and how peaceful my world is at the moment. Lately the topics about the difference in work ethics, life styles and personality between the American and Japanese people have been brought up by the media. By comparing the ways of thinking with the Japanese and the Japanese-American, and the people of the past and present, I thought that learning the values would be more effective and realistic.

    Jo Gondo, Kurume University Faculty of Commerce 2nd year

  • I did not expect the Japanese-Americans to think so strongly about Japan, and I felt they held a strong identity as a Japanese. Throughout the meeting, I felt that they asked us many questions about Fukuoka and Japan and knew a lot about Japanese songs and dances, wanted to understand Japan, and they wanted to keep strong ties to Fukuoka and Japan.

    My next goal is to think of ways to effectively communicate with foreigners who live in the global world and hold different values and ways of thinking, and also to be aware of my own mistakes.

    I found a display at the JCCH exhibit that caught my eye. It was a message from Ellison Onizuka who was a third-generation Japanese-American astronaut and passed away during an accident while launching. He had his roots in Ukiha City in Fukuoka. His words explained “your vision is not limited by what your eye can see, but by what your mind can imagine.” I felt that these words are the answer to racism and prejudice, and many other problems, but at the same time I found that I could relate it to my own situation. In order to communicate with foreigners, it is important to understand the background of that individual, instead of looking only at the surface of things. I felt that this was something worth noting to keep with me for the rest of my life.

    Mizuki Amano, Seinan Gakuin University – Department of Literature – Division of Foreign Languages English Course 2nd year