High School Students Visiting Japan with Marshall Chaparone

Updated 7 years ago Special to HNN Provided by Marshall University

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Twenty-three students and recent graduates from three local high schools will travel to Japan for a two-week study tour beginning Sunday, July 8.

In addition to the students, two chaperones – Azusa “Hanah” Yamada and Miho Egnor – will make the trip. Yamada is Japan Outreach Initiative program director at Marshall University, and Egnor is a Spanish teacher at Huntington High School and wife of Clark Egnor, Marshall’s executive director of the Center for International Programs.

Twelve students from Huntington High School, 10 from Cabell Midland High School and one from Fairland (Ohio) High School will make the trip.

The purpose of the two-week visit to Japan is to promote understanding about the current situation in that country and recovery efforts after the earthquake and tsunami that occurred on March 11, 2011. It also will encourage greater understanding between the youth of Japan and the United States and foster long-term and ongoing interest in one another by providing firsthand experiences with the culture of the other.

“Earlier this year, the College of Liberal Arts hosted the presentation of the documentary, Wave: Restart from the Rubble, a film that showed the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that crippled the region in March, 2011,” said Dr. David Pittenger, dean of Marshall’s College of Liberal Arts. “All who saw the film were greatly moved by the will and determination of those who had lost everything to retain their dignity and restore their community. Now, students from Cabell County and Lawrence County, Ohio, will be greeted with open arms by members of a Japanese community who welcome our students as guests in their country.”

The trip is a new initiative by the Laurasian Institution in partnership with the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership. The project is called Kizuna (Bonds of Friendship) and provides for a fully funded, two-week study tour to Japan.

The Laurasian Institution is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organization founded in 1990. It offers a variety of international and cross-cultural education programs in which people of different cultures meet, learn and gain a greater understanding of one another.

“We want the students to establish friendships, ongoing relationships,” Yamada said. “We don’t want them to stop the relationships when they leave.”

The trip will include travel to both the Kanto and Kansai areas where the students will have an opportunity to volunteer in a community affected by the tsunami and earthquake.

The students also will experience a three-day homestay while in Japan. Each student will stay in the home of a Japanese family for three days, witnessing and learning the traditional way of life in Japan. Next spring, as part of the new program, 23 students from Japan will visit the Huntington area, and while here will also participate in a three-day homestay.

Yamada said two of the 23 students making the trip will be attending Marshall in the fall, majoring in Japanese. Here is a list of students making the trip to Japan:

Huntington High : Deloris Brown, Joseph Fisher, Emily Kingery, Allison Albers, Emily Murray, Kathryne Murphy, Kiersten Oldham, Drew Thompson, Kelsey Vallance, Zackariah Pate, Clare Loftus and Kate Colclough

Cabell Midland: Lance Black, Nathaniel Napier, JamieThompson, Caitlyn Adkins , Katarina Criddle, Jackson Berezo, Mickey Crisp, Kiri Black, Kara Hancock and Montana Richardson

Fairland High School: Molly Mcilvain

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