We are “World Campus Tama,” the Local Organizing Committee in Tama, Tokyo. We have been receiving World Campus – Japan program since 2007. And our city is scheduled as the final city of the Session 5. So since it is toward the end of the summer vacation and many people will already be back in Tokyo, we expect to have many families wanting to be host families. We plan an interaction with seniors through Japanese arts, crafts, music and dances at the Tama International Center, Tokyo Metropolitan Tour with Japanese university students, and an interaction event with local children. In addition, we would like to include company visits to promote Tama City to the world. We have been enjoying and look forward to making connections between the citizens of Tama and the people of the world through World Campus – Japan program.
We look forward to having you in Tama.
Session 5: Toride City, Ibaraki (August 19 ~August 27)
Toride City is one of the bed-town communities of Tokyo, since it is 40 minutes from downtown. We are proud to have the Tone River, the largest river in the Kanto/Tokyo area. Along the riverside, the citizens enjoy bird watching, park activities, golf, flying kites and fireworks, etc.. Since Toride was a key traffic station between Tokyo and the Northern Japan during the Edo period, there are many historical heritages, including the local corporations which have been in operation for more than 100 years. Toride is working together with the Tokyo University of the Arts, to make the city surrounded by “Art” by holding many cultural and art events. Toride also has world famous companies including Canon, Nisshin Foods which makes “Cup-O-Noodle,” Kirin Beer.
As one of the activities for the World Campus Japan visit in Toride, we scheduled to hold a Japanese kite making session with a professional kite maker and fly them by the Tone River. It will be amazing to see all the participants’ kites being connected together to fly in Kanto’s blue sky.
Session 4： Abiko, City, Chiba (August 3 ~August 11)
On April 20, “Abiko Host Family no kai (Chair person: Ms. Kazuko Watanabe),” World Campus Local Organizing Committee(LOC) in Abiko had the kick off meeting to discuss and schedule the activities for this year’s World Campus visit from August 3 through 11. With the aim of meaningful cultural interactions, we have been working on many unique ideas including experiencing Japanese traditional music instruments like “Koto” and “Shamisen” performed by Tokyo University of the Arts graduated professional musicians, and “Rakugo,” one of the Japanese traditional art comedies. We envision the activities in Abiko will be uniquely different from the past visits.
I am Ellery Oosterberg and I am from the Netherlands. Currently I am studying Japanese language and culture at the University of Leiden.
When I was around age 13 I got an MSX computer (Sony). This tiny machine introduced me to the marvelous world of Japanese games. I got intrigued by the manga style. Through this curiosity I found anime, J-Pop, Japanese movies and many more. Currently I am specialized in Movie and Theater with a particular interest in Asian cinema. However studying the language and culture for three years already without visiting the country itself was a bit strange. My goal was to travel through Japan as soon as possible.
To achieve that goal I joined the 2012 World Campus –Japan program as participant for three sessions. I completely fell in love with WC-J. As a student it offered me a better understanding of the language, but I also experienced the culture in first hand. However my host families learned a lot from me as well, including about their own culture. That is a feeling and experience which is priceless.
I was very happy (I was running around from joy!) when Hiro asked me to return to Japan to WC-J as a counselor.
So I will be there for all of you to have fun of course, but also to help you find your ways in Japan and experience Japan 100%. And also if you want to know more about me just ask, for I will do the same.
I am looking forward to meet you all in Japan soon!
Ellery Oosterberg (The Netherlands)
My name’s Alvaro and I’ll be one the program counselors this year in World Campus Japan program.
I am Spanish but have been raised mostly in the Netherlands so you can count me with the Dutchies!
I currently live in Leiden and study Japanese at Leiden University.
My passion for Japanese goes all the way back to my childhood with series like Doraemon and Pokemon to name a few, but I started to get more into it towards my teenage years and since then I haven’t stopped.
The First time I went to Japan was with World Campus Japan. I was so excited; I had already read, heard and seen many things about this most fascinating country and was eager to see it with my own eyes. The first thing I thought when I stepped out of the airport was: it’s HOT in here! But that was soon replaced by other impressions like “the cars look like toys” and “there really are vending machines everywhere”. Soon I met up with the rest of the group, all from over the world, and I got paired up with my host family. That week was amazing! I had a blast with my host family and the group got along so well together. All that I experienced the other weeks was just as amazing and unique in its own way, and I cherished every moment. My second time to Japan was also with World Campus Japan and it was just as awesome as the year before.
I have experienced and gained so much from this program that I thought: This year, I want to contribute!
So this time I’ll be going as a counselor!
My job shall be to aid you, with the other counselors, on the rollercoaster ride that is World Campus Japan. Because you’re not only going on a fun trip, you’re going on a full-fledged cultural trip and, I’ll be honest, you might feel a bit rough at times.
That’s what we counselors are there for, to make sure to help you through those patches (we’ve all been through them!) and that you enjoy the program at the maximum knowing that there are people behind you to catch you when you fall. All in all, you won’t have to fear anything cause by the end of your trip you’ll have formed a strong bond with the whole group and will have gone through so many things that you’ll actually surprise yourself when you look back.
See you this summer!
Alvaro Martin-Mazorra (Spain/The Netherlands)