International Visitors: Denmark and Japan

Graphic by Seth Walker

Bellevue College has always welcomed diversity to its campus, and the next few weeks are no different. True to its goal of international diversity and global interaction, our college is working with Denmark and Japan in two separate efforts to better globally unite partner colleges.
For the next few weeks, from Feb. 19 to March 17, BC is hosting a group of 11 Japanese students, as well as an English professor from Nagoya College. Nagoya is the fourth largest city in Japan and is located in the center of the island. Nogoya College began in 1920 as a medical college and eventually added departments of science, engineering, law and economics. It is now a national university of Japan. This is the second year that Nagoya College has sent us a group of students.
The International Student Programs (ISP) and the English Language Institute (ELI) host this experience. To ensure that the students will have a safe, comfortable stay in Bellevue, ISP is working alongside a private housing company called USA International, Inc. This company offers homestay services so that the students can fully experience American culture.
The 11 students will spend their month here studying customized English courses, touring the Early Learning Center, auditing Japanese classes here, and attending workshops. Although studying abroad is usually perceived as easier than regular classes, this month for them will not be as simple as it sounds. The students will assess college-level Japanese and ESL classes. They will also be joining a local public high school to participate in other Japanese language classes.
Although some parts of their experience will be rigorous, the students also have many opportunities to simply enjoy a different culture. They will have lessons in American cooking, create scrapbooks and go out to several ethnic restaurants. To top it off, they will have two full days of shopping and sightseeing in Bellevue and Seattle. The goal is to show the students a rounded experience of American culture.
In addition to the Japanese students, Bellevue College also hosted Hendrik Larson and Mikael Sorknaes on Feb. 29. Larson is the president of the Business Academy Southwest, a college in Esbjerg, Denmark; Sorknaes is a lecturer. The Business Academy Southwest offers many different degrees and welcomes an international education.
Part of the visit involved evaluating opportunities for exchange students and looking at ways for collaboration between our colleges. Larson and Sorknaes were welcomed by our interim president, Laura Saunders, in a breakfast reception held for them in C103, which ended with a tour of the campus.