Japan: KAKEHASHI Project Reflections Part II

As you can see from the title, this is the second part of my KAKEHASHI Project reflection. If you missed part one you can check it out here –> Japan: KAKEHASHI Project Reflections

1381759_10205509848696084_3206462469446760849_n.jpgAfter returning to the U.S. and sharing my stories with friends and family (shout out to everyone who put up with that for a while lol), I began planning the lessons I would share at local elementary schools. After several weeks of contacting teachers I was scheduled to give my presentations in December. I think the teachers wanted me to be an end of year treat for their students? I’m not sure, but either way this gave me plenty of time to prepare a powerpoint and an activity related to daruma. Fast forward to December and I conducted several lessons at a public elementary school and a private elementary school. I was surprised with how much the students actually knew about Japan.  I mentioned Pokémon a few times and I had their full attention lol. Continue reading

Japan: KAKEHASHI Project Reflections

10511370_10203571082776285_2041151726835230879_n.jpg

Tokyo Metropolitan Building

In 2014 I was fortunate enough to take part in the KAKEHASHI Project, a large-scale cultural exchange program promoted by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The aim of the program is to expand people-to-people relations between the youth of Japan and the United States. During this program, I was dispatched to Tokyo and Shizuoka Prefecture. I realized that I haven’t created a proper post to reflect on the experience itself. Now that two years have elapsed, I feel that mt views have matured and the way I view those experiences has changed as well.

Following a rigorous application process complete with forms, essays, and an interview, I joined the ranks of 26 other undergraduate students from various universities in the state of Kansas. Our flagship university was the University of Kansas (Rock Chalk Jayhawk!). We were joined by University of Califonia (Irvine), University of Pittsburgh, United States Military Academy, Five Colleges Consortium, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Clemson University, University of Hawaii at Manoa, and the University of South Florida during our intake on June 24-July 3. Each flagship university selected for this program was assigned a host university in Japan. Our host university was Shizuoka University.

Continue reading