An Enduring Partnership: Welcoming Back Japan’s Kokushikan University

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As we all are aware, international travel has taken a hit over the past few years. And while that meant countless vacations had to be cancelled or re-scheduled, and international work had to be conducted online, it also meant international students were unable to travel to Canada for their education.

That is why we were thrilled, after a three-year hiatus, to welcome 18 students from Japan’s Kokushikan University in August. Their arrival at our Cranbrook campus was made even more special by the fact that Kokushikan University cancelled all other study abroad opportunities yet approved the students’ travel to our program.

“We are honoured to have been chosen by Kokushikan University as a safe location for their students to come study,” said Wayne Lee-Ying, Manager, International Education and Development. “We always enjoy having students from the University come study with us for a few weeks, and this year felt even more special after not being able to welcome them for three years.”

Over the course of three weeks, the students participated in a customized English as a Second Language (ESL) program complemented by activities they aren’t typically able to do in Japan: river rafting, wall climbing, golf, visiting Fort Steele, and a day trip to Banff.

“We are glad to be back in Cranbrook after three years of suspension,” said Dr. Erika Sunada, Vice-Director, International Center, Kokushikan University. “This is Kokushikan’s very first face-to-face ESL summer program abroad since the pandemic, and we deeply appreciate the College’s and Cranbrook’s unchanging hospitality in the ever-changing situation.  I am thrilled to see students enjoying their days in Canada!”

It was wonderful to have the students come spend a few weeks with us. Can’t wait to do it again next year.