Kagoshima University Students, Faculty Visit

Monday, September 22, 2008

Faculty and students from Kagoshima University will spend five days with the University of West Georgia community as part of the International Study Abroad program at UWG. The visit will be the first official student exchange with West Georgia and Kagoshima University, which is located in Japan.

Faculty and students from Kagoshima University will spend five days with the University of West Georgia community as part of the International Study Abroad program at UWG. The visit will be the first official student exchange with West Georgia and Kagoshima University, which is located in Japan.The International Study group will attend classes at UWG, visit local public schools and experience the Southern charm of the West Georgia region. Field trips include a lunch at the Carrollton Kiwanis Club, rafting on the Ocoee River, visiting the Honda Precision Parts of Georgia plant in Tallapoosa, and visiting the Little River Gun Club. They will leave for Orlando on Wednesday, Sept. 24.

The academic relationship between UWG and Kagoshima began several years ago when a former Kagoshima student and UWG Japanese language instructor, Aki Matsushima, and husband Dr. Walter Todd, UWG assistant professor of physical education and recreation and associate director of the Campus Center for Intramurals, met with Kagoshima faculty to set up an exchange program.

Dr. William Schaniel, professor of economics and director of International Programs at UWG, helped coordinate the study program and an official agreement was signed by the presidents of the two universities in 2007. Since then, students and faculty from both universities have participated in the program.

Todd said the visit would be informative and eye opening for students from Kagoshima and UWG. “The students will get to experience American culture by staying with faculty, staff and students from the University of West Georgia,” said Todd. “They’ll be doing many recreational activities and seeing Americans at home, at work and at play.”

“The students will get to meet, talk with and experience people from another country,” said Todd. “Personal contact with individuals from another land or society is the first major step to becoming more international and worldly and in understanding and knowledge of other people and the world.”

Recently, a delegation of College of Education faculty traveled to Kagoshima to visit two Kagoshima campuses and middle and high schools in the region.

“The West Georgia delegation had three objectives,” said Schaniel. “The first was to enhance exchange opportunities for College of Education and Kagoshima students. The second was to build on the relations between the faculty at both universities and develop teaching, pedagogical and research cooperation, and third, to observe the Japanese Language Development Program at Kagoshima.”

Shortly afterward a delegation of Japanese faculty from Kagoshima visited Carrollton to participate in the COE Learning Festival and to continue developing the study program.

The UWG Intramurals and Recreational Services Department and the Office of International Services and Programs are sponsoring this visit. For more information, call 678-839-6617.