In an introduction to the inner workings of the American high school, Associated Student Body (ASB) students welcomed 16 Japanese college students to the Warrior campus March 1.
During their brief stay, the visitors, who are from Soka University in Tokyo, Japan, went on a campus tour, met various teachers and shadowed various ASB students for a few classes. Through these activities, participants learned about the structure and schedule of the American high school classroom.
The visit to the Warrior campus was coordinated by ASB’s new student services group. According to ASB advisor Alexandria Williamson, the experience gave the exchange students a unique glimpse at the different ways in which Warrior faculty teach school curriculum.
“I think Troy [was] a good place [for the students to tour] because we have incredible students and teachers,” Williamson said. “It [was] exciting for them to see the student-teacher relationships and the high level [at which] our teachers perform.”
According to new student services co-coordinator David Vergara, introducing the visitors to the Warrior faculty and campus was exciting for both Warriors and the visiting students.
“[The experience was] really cool,” Vergara said. “At Troy, you have teachers who really care about students and [their] education. [For] these college students who wanted to learn how to be better teachers, [the visit] was a great way for them to get that [exposure].”
The visiting students, who are undergraduate freshmen majoring in Education, were participants of the “English Abroad Learning Experience” program coordinated by Soka University and two organizations at California State University, Fullerton: University Extended Education’s International Programs and Global Education Division as well as the Fullerton International Resources for Students and Teachers (FIRST) organization.
Their visit to the Warrior campus was a part of a three-week curriculum designed to expose attendees to the American education system. Participants took part in classes taught by university faculty to introduce American culture. Through the FIRST Global Ambassadors program, attendees visited various middle and high schools to obtain first-hand experience in secondary and primary education.
According to FIRST Director Connie DeCapite, the program gives visitors a multifaceted immersion into the American education and allows for meaningful and lasting cross-cultural interactions between the Japanese visitors and their American hosts.
“They learn a lot [in this program] just as we would learn a lot if we went to another country,” DeCapite said. “When they become teachers, they might [be influenced by what] they saw. We [exchange] ideas going back and forth [and] that’s the purpose of an exchange.”