APSU students build relationships with students in Japan
(Posted Feb. 27, 2019)
On Jan. 24, 2018, Austin Peay State University, in association with the Consul-General of Japan in Nashville, hosted a delegation of four Japanese citizens visiting Tennessee as part of the “Walk in the U.S., Talk on Japan” program, a key initiative of the Japanese government designed to promote cultural and political awareness of Japan in several major U.S. cities.
Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki, former Japanese ambassador to the United States, provided an informative and engaging presentation to APSU students, administrators, faculty and members of the general public. After the presentation, Caroline Clasby, APSU director of international student services, learned from Fujisaki that students at Kitakamakura Joshi Gakuen, a girls’ junior and senior high school in Japan, were interested in expanding their international experiences. On a trip to Japan the following month, Clasby visited the ambassador to discuss opportunities for APSU students.
On May 16, 2018, 11 Austin Peay students and two faculty members visited Kitakamakura while on a study abroad trip. During this excursion, the APSU students toured the city of Kamakura and visited the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine. Students from both schools exchanged contact information, and discussed one another’s culture.
On Jan. 23, 2019, Consul General Kobayashi, from the Japanese Consulate in Nashville, hosted the APSU students for a lunch reception, where they shared their experiences. A year after the “Walk in the US, Talk on Japan” program, students in Japan and at Austin Peay continue to interact via social media.
“This stands as a testament to the power of grassroots internationalization and the success of the programs,” Dr. David Rands, associate professor of history, said. “Here at Austin Peay State University, we appreciate these opportunities and are happy to know that students from such geographically distant locations now have formed lasting relationships and continue to share cultural insights.”