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Japanese Students Visit NKY Schools as Part of NKU Partnership

Northern Kentucky University welcomed back international students from Japan’s Gifu University for another year of learning and teaching.

The nine Japanese students, all education majors, will be in Northern Kentucky until mid-September while they take intensive English language classes. On Wednesday, the students visited Grandview Elementary School in Bellevue to tour an American school and teach children about Japanese culture.

"We are incredibly honored to partner with NKU in this endeavor,” Robb Smith, Superintendent of Bellevue Independent School District, said. “The opportunity for our students to learn from our Japanese friends is beyond any experience we could provide.  We are thrilled to host these students for the day.”

The program is designed to break down barriers and form connections with those outside of our country. In addition to Bellevue Schools, the Japanese students have visited Grant’s Lick Elementary in Campbell County and plan to visit Roberts Paideia Academy in Cincinnati and Notre Dame Academy in Park Hills.

"Having teacher education students from Gifu University visiting NKU for three weeks provides a rich opportunity to learn from and with these students,” said Cindy Reed, dean of the College of Education and Human Services. “They are opening our eyes to cultural differences in educator preparation programs as well as the many similarities that exist in our communities.”

NKU and Gifu University have partnered on this program for the last three years.

“We have an exchange agreement with Gifu University where we will send out students to Gifu and receive theirs for up to a year of study,” Francois Le Roy, the executive director of the Center for Global Engagement and International Affairs, said. “It is our longest-standing exchange partner school.”

The Japanese students stayed with a host family over Labor Day weekend to experience an American household. They also attended a Reds game, visited Churchill Downs and toured the Louisville Slugger Factory Museum in Louisville. Out of all these American experiences, they say enjoying Skyline Chili is one of their favorites. The students return to Japan on September 14.

-Staff report

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