NA CAPE students celebrate language immersion and cultural insights from the 2019 Japan Study Tour
For the second year running NA CAPE scholars were immersed in the Japanese language and culture over a two-week period in Kanazawa city, Ishikawa prefecture.
The scholars once again gained value from the programme:
‘This trip has provided me with an invaluable opportunity to actively engage in speaking with many different native Japanese speakers on a daily basis I would never have otherwise had, really pushing me out of my comfort zone!’
Each morning at the Ishikawa Foundation for International Exchange the scholars had intensive Japanese language classes, which was followed by cultural activities in the afternoon. These activities varied greatly, from learning calligraphy, playing Japanese drums, making Japanese sweets to making mizuhiki rice paper ornaments, and gold leafing.
The visits deepened the scholars cultural understanding with one scholar noting:
‘Visiting these breathtaking locations and the experiencing the various cultural activities has given me a much deeper insight to Japanese history, culture, and society which will be priceless to my future education of Japanese.’
The scholars also visited a local high school, where they presented to the local students on New Zealand.
Integral to their experience were the homestays, offering the opportunity to learn about Japanese life and culture and hone their Japanese language skills at the same time.
‘Living with a Japanese family helped me grow so much in my language skills and understanding of Japanese culture and everyday life.’
From the first day meeting their homestays, students navigated transport, local food, Japanese etiquette and values. For one student it was clearly a time to remember.
‘I am really thankful for the opportunity to partake in this trip, and it is a valuable experience that I will hold close to my heart for life’.
The NA CAPE is pleased to be working with Ishikawa Prefecture in 2020 to offer this programme for the third time. Applications will open in April.